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J. E. Ramsey, B. Moore, A. H. Sheetz, T. Comerford, L. McIntyre; Massachusetts Preschool Vision Screening Program: Two Year Program Evaluation. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2009;50(13):4754.
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To evaluate the Massachusetts Preschool Vision Screening Program two years after implementation.
Following a legislative mandate, the Massachusetts Preschool Vision Screening Program was developed, based on a "medical home" model where preschool children receive vision screening by the primary care provider. In addition, the school nurses provided a backup support system. Working in collaboration with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, an aggressive state-wide educational campaign was developed and targeted to pediatric primary care providers and school nurses. Two years after initiation of the program, a randomized phone survey of 100 primary care pediatric practices was conducted. In addition, a mail survey of pediatric healthcare providers was conducted in both 2005 and 2007. Comparative data was able to be obtained. An on-line survey tool inquiring about both the frequency and quality of vision screening was developed and targeted to school nurses; data was reported for 29,811 preschool children. Additional school nurse information was obtained on nearly 11,000 enrolled kindergarten students from a self-selected cohort of nurse leaders.
Ninety nine percent of the primary care physicians contacted in the randomized phone survey indicated that they were aware of the new mandated preschool vision screening program and 89% reported that they were implementing the program. The mail survey from 2007 showed a significant increase in the number of physicians who reported use of the mandated vision screening protocol compared with 2005: picture symbol use declined and HOTV/Lea symbol use increased from 18% to 65%. Stereo testing, part of the recommended protocol, increased from 15% to 85%. 65% reported using recommended methods of ocular occlusion compared with 11% at baseline. Results from the school nurse surveys showed an increase in the number of preschoolers screened by primary care providers, from 44% in 2005 to 62% in 2007.
Two years after the Massachusetts Preschool Vision Screening Program was initiated, there has been an increase in both the rates and quality of preschool vision screening.
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