June 2017
Volume 58, Issue 8
Open Access
ARVO Annual Meeting Abstract  |   June 2017
Preparation for the EUSCREEN Study: gathering data on vision and hearing screening programmes in 41 European countries
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Aya Sami
    Ophthalmology, Erasmus Medical Center, Rotterdam, Netherlands
  • Frea Sloot
    Ophthalmology, Erasmus Medical Center, Rotterdam, Netherlands
  • Mirjana Bjeloš
    University Eye Clinic Zagreb, Zagreb, Croatia
  • Branka Stirn Kranjc
    University Medical Centre Ljubljana, Ljubljana, Slovenia
  • Mari Levin
    East-Tallinn Central Hospital Eye Clinic, East-Tallinn, Estonia
  • Grazyna Greczka
    Poznan University of Medical Sciences, Department of Otolaryngology , Poznan, Poland
  • Luc Stappaerts
    Kind en Gezin, Brussels, Belgium
  • Amra Nadarevic Vodencarevic
    Health Center Tuzla, Tuzla, Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Davide Bottin
    Hospital of Bolzano, Bolzano, Italy
  • Sara McCullough
    Ulster University, Coleraine, United Kingdom
  • Andrea Langmann
    Medical University Graz, Graz, Austria
  • Lotte Welinder
    Aarhus University, Dept. Clin. Medicine, Aarhus, Denmark
  • Veit Sturm
    Cantonal Hospital St. Gallen, St. Gallen, Switzerland
  • Huibert Jan Simonsz
    Ophthalmology, Erasmus Medical Center, Rotterdam, Netherlands
  • Footnotes
    Commercial Relationships   Aya Sami, None; Frea Sloot, None; Mirjana Bjeloš , None; Branka Stirn Kranjc, None; Mari Levin, None; Grazyna Greczka, None; Luc Stappaerts, None; Amra Nadarevic Vodencarevic, None; Davide Bottin, None; Sara McCullough, None; Andrea Langmann, None; Lotte Welinder, None; Veit Sturm, None; Huibert Simonsz, None
  • Footnotes
    Support  Horizon 2020-SC1-2016-RTD #733352
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science June 2017, Vol.58, 2360. doi:
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      Aya Sami, Frea Sloot, Mirjana Bjeloš, Branka Stirn Kranjc, Mari Levin, Grazyna Greczka, Luc Stappaerts, Amra Nadarevic Vodencarevic, Davide Bottin, Sara McCullough, Andrea Langmann, Lotte Welinder, Veit Sturm, Huibert Jan Simonsz; Preparation for the EUSCREEN Study: gathering data on vision and hearing screening programmes in 41 European countries. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2017;58(8):2360.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Purpose : To examine the diversity in paediatric vision and hearing screening programmes in Europe, in preparation for the development of a comparative cost-effectiveness model.

Methods : A questionnaire on vision, hearing and public health screening was developed by a focus group using literature and expert opinion. Questions were structured as multiple-choice with comments in 9 domains: demography and epidemiology, administration and general background, existing screening systems, coverage and attendance, tests, follow-up and diagnosis, treatment availability, cost and benefit, adverse effects. Tests used, professionals involved, age and frequency influence cost-effectiveness. Questionnaires were sent to ophthalmologists, orthoptists, otolaryngologists and audiologists in all 41 European countries. They were selected based on their expertise and involvement in paediatric screening or they were recommended by Ministries of Health.

Results : Representatives of 18 countries have filled out the questionnaire thus far. Vision screening content is mostly decided by the Ministry of Health or Public health organisations. Prevalences of amblyopia and strabismus at the age of 7 range between 1.4-3.5% and 1.6-5% respectively. Screening professions varied from paediatrician, ophthalmologist, nurses, general practitioner, youth doctor, orthoptist, optometrist, optician or health care assistant. Most of them receive no additional training, and when, it varies in duration and is usually not certified. Target condition was amblyopia and strabismus and refractive error. Visual acuity (VA) is measured at age 3 to 5. VA charts used are Landolt-C, Tumbling-E, Lea Hyvarinen, Snellen, Sonksen, HOTV, Cardiff, Keeler, Østerber, Allen figures, Rossano Weiss and Pigassou. At age 3 and 4, Lea Hyvarinen and Cardiff are used most, in children over 4, Tumbling-E and Snellen. Inspection, fixation and Fundus red reflex are the most used vision screening tests before the age of 3. Treatment for amblyopia and strabismus is available in all countries, but sometimes limited due to economic or capacity problems. Funding is mostly by health insurance or state.

Conclusions : The results revealed large differences in VA charts used, professions involved in vision screening, their training, and funding sources.

This is an abstract that was submitted for the 2017 ARVO Annual Meeting, held in Baltimore, MD, May 7-11, 2017.


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