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S Veitzman, SR Salomao, CL Wen; A Web-base Registry for Visual Impairment in Childhood . Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2002;43(13):3848.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Purpose:The prevalence of visual impairment in childhood varies from 0.8/1000 to 6/1000, respectively in developed and developing countries. Several causes have been related to visual loss in infancy, and they can vary according to geographical, cultural, educational, socio-economic and health care peculiarities of each country. Our purpose was to elaborate a multi-centric web-based protocol to be used as model for a national registry of visually impaired children in Brazil. Methods:We used MS Front Page 2000, Paint Shop Pro 6.0, MS Visual Interdev 6.0 and MS-SQL 7.0 database. Database entries were determined according to the WHO guidelines for childhood blindness, to provide future worldwide compatibility. However, new entries were inserted and a simplified form was implemented. The protocol is available at http://www.saudeparavoce.com.br/defvisual, with restricted access, controlled by password. In a 4-month interval, 87 visually impaired children, aging from 0-15 years old, were attended at Santa Casa de Misecordia Low Vision Clinic (Sao Paulo, Brazil) and had been registered at the web-based database. Results: Main causes for visual impairment in childhood were: infantile cataract in 41% (36/87), ocular toxoplasmosis in 36% (31/87), retina disorders in 11% (10/87), glaucoma in 8% (7/87) and other causes (corneal or coroidal disorders) in 3% (3/87). Visual loss was classified as severe in 26% (23/87), moderate in 23% (20/87), mild in 40%(35/87) and in 11% (9/87) the classification was impossible due to lack of visual acuity score. Conclusion: These results show the feasibility of a web-based registry for visual impairment in childhood. Multicentric scientific protocols based on the web seem to be a valuable tool, since they allow centralized information with on-line follow-up, avoiding time delay when data are exchanged by other means. Other advantages include resources sharing and availability to other participating centers around the world and low cost. Inter-institutional and international multicentric studies are needed to validate this instrument for worldwide usage.
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