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The Vision in Preschoolers Study Group; Does Assessing Eye Alignment along with Refractive Error or Visual Acuity Increase Sensitivity for Detection of Strabismus in Preschool Vision Screening?. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2007;48(7):3115-3125. doi: 10.1167/iovs.06-1009.
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purpose. Preschool vision screenings often include refractive error or visual acuity (VA) testing to detect amblyopia, as well as alignment testing to detect strabismus. The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of combining screening for eye alignment with screening for refractive error or reduced VA on sensitivity for detection of strabismus, with specificity set at 90% and 94%.
methods. Over 3 years, 4040 preschool children were screened in the Vision in Preschoolers (VIP) Study, with different screening tests administered each year. Examinations were performed to identify children with strabismus. The best screening tests for detecting children with any targeted condition were noncycloplegic retinoscopy (NCR), Retinomax autorefractor (Right Manufacturing, Virginia Beach, VA), SureSight Vision Screener (Welch-Allyn, Inc., Skaneateles, NY), and Lea Symbols (Precision Vision, LaSalle, IL and Good-Lite Co., Elgin, IL) and HOTV optotypes VA tests. Analyses were conducted with these tests of refractive error or VA paired with the best tests for detecting strabismus (unilateral cover testing, Random Dot “E” [RDE] and Stereo Smile Test II [Stereo Optical, Inc., Chicago, IL]; and MTI PhotoScreener [PhotoScreener, Inc., Palm Beach, FL]). The change in sensitivity that resulted from combining a test of eye alignment with a test of refractive error or VA was determined with specificity set at 90% and 94%.
results. Among the 4040 children, 157 were identified as having strabismus. For screening tests conducted by eye care professionals, the addition of a unilateral cover test to a test of refraction generally resulted in a statistically significant increase (range, 15%–25%) in detection of strabismus. For screening tests administered by trained lay screeners, the addition of Stereo Smile II to SureSight resulted in a statistically significant increase (21%) in sensitivity for detection of strabismus.
conclusions. The most efficient and low-cost ways to achieve a statistically significant increase in sensitivity for detection of strabismus were by combining the unilateral cover test with the autorefractor (Retinomax) administered by eye care professionals and by combining Stereo Smile II with SureSight administered by trained lay screeners. The decision of whether to include a test of alignment should be based on the screening program’s goals (e.g., targeted visual conditions) and resources.
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