July 2018
Volume 59, Issue 9
Open Access
ARVO Annual Meeting Abstract  |   July 2018
Results from 2016 National Survey of Children’s Health (NSCH)
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Sandra S Block
    School-Based Vision Clinic, Illinois College of Optometry, Chicago, Illinois, United States
  • Kira Baldonado
    Prevent Blindness, Chicago, Illinois, United States
  • Footnotes
    Commercial Relationships   Sandra Block, None; Kira Baldonado, None
  • Footnotes
    Support  None
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science July 2018, Vol.59, 163. doi:
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      Sandra S Block, Kira Baldonado; Results from 2016 National Survey of Children’s Health (NSCH)
      . Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2018;59(9):163.

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

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Purpose : The 2016 NSCH, two-step cross sectional survey focused on physical and emotional health of US children, was mailed to a sample of 364,150 households from Census Master Address File. Respondents were provided access to a website or paper survey to participate. The survey included a question on testing visual acuity(VA) requested by the National Center for Children’s Vision and Eye Health to describe access to VA testing. The research looks at responses to VA testing and the location of services. The analysis looks factors that would direct the Center to improve interventions promoting vision health, development, and learning readiness.

Methods : NSCH is administered by the US Census Bureau for HHS, HRSA, & MCHB to US families focusing on children from birth-17years of age. The 2016 data, released 2017, was analyzed with SPSS V21.0. The analysis will reflect the association of VA testing with age, SES, and child health status. “Don’t know” and missing responses were denoted as missing. The NSCH is publicly available data and Institutional Review Board approval was not required for this study.

Results : 50212 valid surveys representing all states and DC were included. One child per household was the chosen for the questions (51.2% male, mean age 9.4 yrs±5.27). 36,272 (69.6%) respondents stated VA was tested in the past 2 years (population estimate of 50,798,467). Missing responses for each age group were: 0-5yrs – 59.2%, 6-11yrs–13.3%, 12-17yrs–17%. VA was tested in each age group as: birth-5 yrs-41.1%, 6-11 yrs-87.3%, and 12-17-83.6%. Of those who stated VA was tested and the child had seen an eye doctor-59.1%, an MD-39.6%, at clinic-3.3%, at school-23.1%. The likelihood of seeing an eye doctor increased with age (0-5yrs-32.5%, 6-11yrs-53.1%, 12-17yrs-72.9%). Children with neurodevelopmental problems (CP, ID, DS, DD, ADD/ADHD) and LD were found to have the VA checked in 79% or higher cases. Those children on food stamps, meal plans, or WIC had vision tested: 69.4%, 71.1% and 49.2%, respectively with age variations.

Conclusions : Analysis of data from the 2016 NSCH indicates wide disparities exist in rates of VA testing and utilization of eye care by age, systemic condition, and socio-economic factors. On-going data collection will be critical for interventions, revisions to health policy, and improved access services to promote improved vision health for children in the U.S.

This is an abstract that was submitted for the 2018 ARVO Annual Meeting, held in Honolulu, Hawaii, April 29 - May 3, 2018.


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