Researchers affiliated with the Vision in Preschoolers (VIP) Study measured the accuracy of vision screenings conducted by trained nurses and laypersons over a period of one year. A sample group of over 1,400 children three to five years old enrolled in Head Start programs were screened using the Retinomax Autorefractor, the SureSight Vision Screener, and two forms of the Linear Lea Symbols VA Test. Conditions targeted for identification were amblyopia, strabismus, significant refractive error, and reduced visual acuity in the absence of amblyogenic conditions. The screenings were conducted at Head Start program facilities.
The study, funded by the National Eye Institute (NEI), showed that the 43 VIP Study-trained nurses and laypersons using the Retinomax Autorefractor and the Suresight Vision Screener conducted screenings with the same degree of accuracy as optometrists and ophthalmologists. The Lea Symbols Visual Acuity (VA) screenings produced more accurate results when administered by an optometrist or ophthalmologist. However, when the format of the test was changed to present isolated, crowded Lea Symbols at a closer distance, laypersons were as accurate as the eyecare professionals using the original test, in which a line of symbols was presented.
"We are excited to have identified the best-performing tools for vision screening of preschool children, and to have found that trained lay screeners and nurses can use those tools effectively," said Paul A.
Sieving, M.D., Ph.D., director of the NEI. "As early detection of childhood eye disease increa
Contact: Elinore Tibbetts
Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology