July 2019
Volume 60, Issue 9
Open Access
ARVO Annual Meeting Abstract  |   July 2019
EUSCREEN study, stage 1: Data collection on vision and hearing screening programs in 40 European countries and Turkey, Israel, Russia, Malawi, Ruanda, Suth-Africa and India
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Huibert Jan Simonsz
    Erasmus MC Rotterdam, Rotterdam, Netherlands
    Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience, Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • Jill Carlton
    University of Sheffield, Sheffield, United Kingdom
  • Helen Griffith
    University of Sheffield, Sheffield, United Kingdom
  • Inger Úhlen
    Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden
  • Cristina Vladutiu
    University of Medicine and Pharmacy , Cluj-Napoca, Romania
  • Monica Ghititu
    Directia de Asistenta Sociala si Medicala, Cluj-Napoca, Romania
  • Birkena Qirjazi
    University of Medicine, Tirana, Albania
  • Enver Roshi
    University of Medicine, Tirana, Albania
  • Anna Horwood
    University of Reading, Reading, United Kingdom
  • Maria Fronius
    Goethe University Frankfurt, Frankfurt, Frankfurt, Germany
  • Hans Hoeve
    Erasmus MC Rotterdam, Rotterdam, Netherlands
  • Harry de Koning
    Erasmus MC Rotterdam, Rotterdam, Netherlands
  • Footnotes
    Commercial Relationships   Huibert Simonsz, None; Jill Carlton, None; Helen Griffith, None; Inger Úhlen, None; Cristina Vladutiu, None; Monica Ghititu, None; Birkena Qirjazi, None; Enver Roshi, None; Anna Horwood, None; Maria Fronius, None; Hans Hoeve, None; Harry de Koning, None
  • Footnotes
    Support  EU Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 733352
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science July 2019, Vol.60, 4427. doi:
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      Huibert Jan Simonsz, Jill Carlton, Helen Griffith, Inger Úhlen, Cristina Vladutiu, Monica Ghititu, Birkena Qirjazi, Enver Roshi, Anna Horwood, Maria Fronius, Hans Hoeve, Harry de Koning; EUSCREEN study, stage 1: Data collection on vision and hearing screening programs in 40 European countries and Turkey, Israel, Russia, Malawi, Ruanda, Suth-Africa and India. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2019;60(9):4427.

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

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Purpose : Across Europe inequity exists in provision of childhood screening. We gather data on screening programs, to use it in a disease-health model to predict and compare benefits and costs of screening programs, taking regional diversity and organisational and resource requirements into account. This cost-effectiveness model will assist healthcare providers in their decisions about introduction, modification or disinvestment of screening programs in the future.We report on collection of data on vision screening programs.

Methods : A questionnaire (www.euscreen.org) with domains on demography, circumstances for screening, existing screening programs and health systems, uptake, screening tests, diagnostics, treatment options, envisaged health benefits, societal costs and adverse effects was filled out for each country by 3 Country Representatives (CRs) for vision, hearing and general pediatric screening, together comprising the Foundation EUS€REEN. For each country, reports were made on population and healthcare system, vision screening commissioning and guidance, age at vision screening, automated vision screening, provision for visually impaired, prevalence, diagnosis, screening coverage, treatment success, screening evaluation and cost of screening and of treatment for amblyopia, strabismus and cataract.

Results : We had difficulty finding competent CRs willing to fill out the detailed questionnaire. Seven countries outside Europe contributed data. There was a high proportion of missing responses and uncertainty, in particular on disease prevalence, treatment costs and personnel costs. There is wide variation in vision screening programs, their availability, their organisation, screening tests and the methods by which data are collected and analysed. There was little communication about screening programs across borders.

Conclusions : It proved difficult to gather robust evidence and data on country-specific contexts to support the efficacy of existing vision screening programs. Large regional differences exist (Germany, Austria, Italy, France, Spain, Belgium and UK). Even in countries with highly developed screening programs, good quality monitoring is lacking. In some countries, culturally different approaches to healthcare influence what children are eligible for screening and health-care reforms are needed to reach equity .

This abstract was presented at the 2019 ARVO Annual Meeting, held in Vancouver, Canada, April 28 - May 2, 2019.


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