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P. P. Schmidt, J. Meents, B. Head, E. Rund; A Community-Based Preschool Vision Screening Model Program. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2008;49(13):4996. doi: https://doi.org/.
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This study documents the characteristics of and pilots a model for implementing preschool vision screening in Ohio based on trained lay volunteers using tests that performed best in the Vision In Preschoolers (VIP) Study.
The 88 Ohio counties were surveyed to establish preschool vision screening practices: 1) tests used, 2) screening personnel, and 3) numbers of children referred. Further, in collaboration with the OSU Extension Program and The Ohio State University Office of Outreach, a model for implementing community-based preschool vision screening programs with high school age youth (4-H Youth Leaders, 13-19 years) was tested and refined using the best screening practices from the VIP Study (tests, testers, protocols, referral criteria, disorder definitions, educational materials).
Responses received from 52% (n=46) of Ohio counties show that in community-based preschool vision screening programs: 1) visual acuity and eye alignment are tests most frequently used; 2) nurses most frequently administer tests; 3) 1-34% of Ohio children are referred from screenings. Of the 4-H Youth Leaders trained to conduct the SureSight Vision Screener, Retinomax Autorefractor, and Crowded Singular Lea Symbols Visual Acuity (5 Foot) screening tests, more than 95% (20/21) were able to complete certification requirements similar to those used in the VIP Study and to implement community-based preschool vision screening programs.
Tests which peformed best in the VIP Study are not in use in Ohio. Statewide preschool vision screening referral rates vary more than the rates reported nationally (4-17%). Trained high school students show excellent potential and enthusiasm for implementing community-based preschool vision screenings using a model viewed as service and learning programs ideal for 4-H Youth.
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