September 2016
Volume 57, Issue 12
Open Access
ARVO Annual Meeting Abstract  |   September 2016
Cluster-randomized controlled trial of the effects of free glasses on glasses purchase in China: the PRICE (Potentiating Rural Investment in Children’s Eyecare) study
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Nathan G Congdon
    Centre for Public Health, Queen's University Belfast, Belfast, United Kingdom
    Zhongshan Ophthalmic Centre, Orbis International, New York, New York, United States
  • Xiuqin Wang
    Division of Preventive Ophthlmology, Zhongshan Ophthalmic Center, Guangzhou, China
  • Yue Ma
    Shaanxi Normal University, Xi'An, China
  • Weiqi Liao
    Division of Preventive Ophthlmology, Zhongshan Ophthalmic Center, Guangzhou, China
  • Baixiang Xiao
    Division of Preventive Ophthlmology, Zhongshan Ophthalmic Center, Guangzhou, China
  • Ming Ni
    The Fred Hollows Foundation China, Kunming, China
  • Yiwen Huang
    The Fred Hollows Foundation China, Kunming, China
  • Hongmei Yi
    China Center for Health Development Studies, Peking University, Beijing, China
  • Xiaochen Ma
    China Center for Health Development Studies, Peking University, Beijing, China
  • Scott Rozelle
    Stanford University, Palo Alto, California, United States
  • Footnotes
    Commercial Relationships   Nathan Congdon, Essilor-China (F), Luxottica-China (F); Xiuqin Wang, None; Yue Ma, None; Weiqi Liao, None; Baixiang Xiao, None; Ming Ni, None; Yiwen Huang, None; Hongmei Yi, None; Xiaochen Ma, None; Scott Rozelle, None
  • Footnotes
    Support  The Fred Hollows Foundation; Orbis International; US Agency for International Development; Luxottica-China (Shanghai); Essilor-China(Shanghai); Prof Congdon is supported by the Chinese government’s Thousand Man Plan and by the Ulverscroft Foundation.
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science September 2016, Vol.57, No Pagination Specified. doi:
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      Nathan G Congdon, Xiuqin Wang, Yue Ma, Weiqi Liao, Baixiang Xiao, Ming Ni, Yiwen Huang, Hongmei Yi, Xiaochen Ma, Scott Rozelle; Cluster-randomized controlled trial of the effects of free glasses on glasses purchase in China: the PRICE (Potentiating Rural Investment in Children’s Eyecare) study. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 201657(12):.

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      © 2017 Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology.

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Abstract

Purpose : To assess the effect of providing free spectacles on purchase and wear of glasses in rural Chinese children.

Methods : Design: Cluster-randomized, investigator-masked, controlled trial.
One 4th or 5th grade class was chosen randomly at randomly selected 138 primary schools from 9 counties in Guangdong and Yunnan provinces, China. Children with uncorrected visual acuity (VA) <=6/12 in either eye correctable to >6/12 in both eyes were randomized by school to one of four groups: glasses prescription only (Control); Free Glasses; Free Glasses + offer of $15 Upgrade Glasses; Free Glasses + offer of $30 Upgrade Glasses. Spectacle purchase (main outcome) and observed glasses wear (secondary outcome) were assessed 6 months later. We hypothesized that providing free glasses would not decrease glasses purchase rates, comparing children given prescriptions only with those offered free glasses together with “upgrade spectacles” (having stylish designs and scratch-free coatings) at the point of distribution at county hospitals.

Results : Among 10,234 children screened, 890 (8.70%, mean age 10.6 years, 45.4% boys) were eligible and randomized: 259 (29.1%) at 37 schools to Control; 253 (28.4%) at 32 schools to Free Glasses; 192 (21.6%) at 31 schools to Free Glasses + $15 Upgrade; and 186 (20.9%) at 27 schools to Free Glasses +$30 upgrade. Baseline ownership among these children needing glasses was 11.8% (105/890), and 874 (98.2%) children completed follow-up. Glasses purchase did not differ between Control and the Free Glasses + Upgrade Groups: Control: 60/259=23.2%; Free + $15 Upgrade: 39/192=20.3%, adjusted Odds Ratio (OR) 0.83 (0.45-1.55), P = 0.563; Free + $30 Upgrade: 38/186=20.4%, OR 0.87 (0.48, 1.55), P=0.63.

Conclusions : Providing free glasses while offering upgrade glasses for purchase can deliver services to poorer children and families while maintaining high rates of spectacle sales needed to sustain programs.

This is an abstract that was submitted for the 2016 ARVO Annual Meeting, held in Seattle, Wash., May 1-5, 2016.

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