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Sandra S Block, Melissa A Suckow; Impact of the Lions Lens on a school vision clinic and on child’s perception of academic performance. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2014;55(13):6102.
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Lions Clubs International Foundation and Essilor created the Lions lens to address uncorrected refractive error (RE). Illinois Eye Institute (IEI) became a pilot site. The Lions lens was distributed at the IEI School-based vision clinic in Chicago to students insured through state health insurance. Medicaid typically takes 2-4 months to deliver glasses. The Lions lens was delivered faster. A pre-survey was developed to see if these patients had visual complaints and felt a vision intervention would benefit academic performance. A post-survey was administered after they had their glasses for several weeks. The post-survey investigated perceptions of the glasses and whether they felt a positive or negative impact.
Children presenting to the clinic during 10/12-5/13, who had state insurance and needed spectacles were included under the Lions grant. On the day of their exam, they completed a pre-survey. The survey was read if they needed help. When ready, glasses were delivered and the child was instructed on wearing schedule (always, reading only, or distance only). Several weeks later (3-6 weeks), the post-survey was completed.
1,109 children fit criteria for the Lions lens. Of those, 56% were female, 62% Black, 34.3% Hispanic, 1.6% Asian, & 1.6% White. The subjects ranged from <1 year to 21 years of age (mean - 11.7 SD 3.3). RE (OD) ranged from sphere: -15.00D - +11.50 (mean -0.34 SD 2.15) cylinder: range up to -8.00D (mean 1.20 SD 1.12). At least 2 lines of improvement in visual acuity were seen in 49.1% with the new correction. Pre-survey question responses showed 65.5% of the children felt school work would improve with exam. Post survey showed 73.9% felt the school improved with the new glasses. Percentages decreased from elementary school (78.3%) to high school 65.8%).
Many children felt academic performance improved with the Lions correction. While no data exists supporting actual changes in grades in school, it is important that children had a positive attitude towards visual correction. The children seen at this clinic are low income inner city children with limited access to regular eye care services. Since Illinois has offered insurance that covers eyecare low income children for several years, it is uncertain whether the affordable care act will improve access for our population.
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