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Felicia Adinanto, Amanda French, Kathryn Ailsa Rose; Access to Eye Care Services by Schoolchildren in a Longitudinal Cohort. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2019;60(9):3130.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
To determine the proportion of schoolchildren who access eye care services and outcomes of baseline referral at follow-up.
The Sydney Myopia Study, re-examined 2122 children in two cohorts aged at baseline; 6 years and 12 years with follow up 5-6 years later at 12 and 17 years. All children underwent a comprehensive ocular examination at baseline and follow-up including visual acuity, ocular motility, dilated fundus examination and cycloplegic autorefraction (cyclopentolate 1%). Questionnaires ascertained access to eye care services, eye care specialists and treatment provided. For those children identified at baseline as having an eye condition, the proportion who accessed eye care services was calculated.
At baseline 39.1% of the younger and 62.4% of the older cohort had already had their eyes assessed. Regular eye care was attended by 29.6% of the younger and 37.3% of the older cohort (p=0.037). For children who had not accessed eye services, 10.6% of the younger and 6.5% of the older cohort were found to have an undetected eye condition. Parents reported refractive error, amblyopia and strabismus in 20% of the younger and 30% of the older cohort (p=0.003). At follow-up this increased with 26.5% of the younger and 35.2% of the older cohort reported to have an eye condition (p=0.015). Regular eye care was now attended by 44.4% of the younger and 53.4% of the older cohort (p=0.016). The most common treatment received by children in both cohorts at both time points was glasses for refractive correction. Of those children receiving occlusion therapy for amblyopia at baseline, 69% had ceased treatment at follow up, 31% were still being treated while 31 had commenced occlusion. All children who reported treatment for strabismus at baseline, were still under care for strabismus at follow-up. Of those children found to have had a previously undetected eye condition at baseline, at follow-up 58.3% in the younger and 41.9% in the older cohort were now under regular eye care. The majority of these were annual eye appointments (66.7% younger and 38.5% older cohort).
Access of eye care services increased with age, as did the number of children detected with eye conditions and the number receiving treatment. A substantial proportion of children who were referred for ongoing management at baseline were attending eye appointments at follow-up but, reasons for non-attendance need to be explored.
This abstract was presented at the 2019 ARVO Annual Meeting, held in Vancouver, Canada, April 28 - May 2, 2019.
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