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Moneesha Rani Mukherjee, Alyssa M Kretz, Xinxing Guo, Robert Slavin, Nancy Madden, David S Friedman, Michael X Repka, Evan Behrle, Leana Wen, Gabriel Auteri, Megan E Collins; Eyeglass retention in a school-based vision program. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2018;59(9):182. doi: https://doi.org/.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Providing eyeglasses to schoolchildren has no benefit if the glasses are not worn. Here we measure eyeglass retention in the first year of a Baltimore city-wide school-based vision program and describe methods to improve usage.
17,614 students in grades PreK-8 were screened at 46 schools during the 2016-2017 academic year. 5,596 students failed screening, 2,920 returned parental consent forms to allow an eye exam in a mobile clinic, and 1,945 were prescribed and dispensed eyeglasses by the end of the 16-17 school year. Each student received one pair of glasses and was instructed to contact the program if they needed a replacement. At the beginning of the following school year, we returned to check on eyeglasses use in 1,014 students. Eyeglass retention was analyzed to compare the rates of replacements requested with those found to be needed.
During the 2016-2017 school year, 162 of 1,945 students (8.3%) contacted the program to request replacement glasses. We provided replacement glasses for 567 of 1,014 students (56%) who did not have their original glasses at the beginning of the following academic year. Of students who were provided replacement glasses and reported the status of their original glasses, 37% were found to be lost, 23% broken and 40% other (e.g., too scratched or left at home).
Eyeglass retention rates decreased in the fall of the next academic year after students were initially seen. Despite the fact that nearly 60% of students needed replacement, only 8% had requested replacement glasses. A large proportion of glasses were lost or broken, arguing that school-based eye care programs should include mechanisms to repair, replace, and monitor usage of eyeglasses on an ongoing basis. Though many school-based programs offer free replacements, awareness about this benefit is low. Having dedicated program personnel that support school staff in developing monitoring plans may help increase eyeglass retention.
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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