July 2019
Volume 60, Issue 9
Open Access
ARVO Annual Meeting Abstract  |   July 2019
A Qualitative Approach to Understanding Reasons for Non-Participation and Barriers to Participation in School-Based Vision Programs
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Hursuong Vongsachang
    Wilmer Eye Institute, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland, United States
  • Amanda Inns
    Johns Hopkins University School of Education, Maryland, United States
  • Alyssa Marie Kretz
    Wilmer Eye Institute, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland, United States
  • Rani Mukherjee
    University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine, California, United States
  • David S Friedman
    Wilmer Eye Institute, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland, United States
  • Michael X Repka
    Wilmer Eye Institute, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland, United States
  • Megan E Collins
    Wilmer Eye Institute, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland, United States
  • Footnotes
    Commercial Relationships   Hursuong Vongsachang, None; Amanda Inns, None; Alyssa Kretz, None; Rani Mukherjee, None; David Friedman, None; Michael Repka, None; Megan Collins, Versant Health (C)
  • Footnotes
    Support  Arnold Foundation, Abell Foundation, Hackerman Foundation, JHU Catalyst Award, JHUSOM Dean's Summer Research Funding
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science July 2019, Vol.60, 1017. doi:https://doi.org/
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      Hursuong Vongsachang, Amanda Inns, Alyssa Marie Kretz, Rani Mukherjee, David S Friedman, Michael X Repka, Megan E Collins; A Qualitative Approach to Understanding Reasons for Non-Participation and Barriers to Participation in School-Based Vision Programs. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2019;60(9):1017. doi: https://doi.org/.

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

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Abstract

Purpose : School-based vision programs provide access to vision care within the school setting. While prior work has focused on barriers to community follow-up after failed vision screenings and spectacle non-compliance in children, there is limited available research on parent and school staff perspectives regarding school-based vision programs. We examined reasons for non-participation and barriers to participation from parent and teacher perspectives.

Methods : We conducted 39 semi-structured focus groups, 18 with parents and 21 with teachers/staff across two cities, at schools offering school-based vision programs (screening, eye exams, and eyeglasses if needed). Focus groups ranged in size from 2-9 participants (median=5). Sessions were recorded, transcribed, and coded through an iterative process to develop themes using inductive analysis.

Results : Seventy-four parents and 117 teachers/staff participated. The reasons participants most commonly reported for not participating in school-based vision programs included having existing eye care, misunderstanding about the program, particularly in regards to cost and insurance, and mistrust of the program. Structural barriers to participation also existed, which included parents’ lack of awareness of the program and difficulty reaching parents by teachers and staff. Additionally, participants reported challenges with the consent form including obstacles distributing and returning forms and concerns with the complexity, literacy level, and language barriers of the form. Fear of sharing personal information and certain parental attitudes towards vision, such as not believing that their child needs glasses and low prioritization of eye care, contributed to both stated reasons for non-participation and barriers to participation.

Conclusions : To be successful, school-based vision programs must address reasons for non-participation and barriers to participation. This should include targeting services towards those without current access to eye care and building trust and parental understanding of the program. Effective strategies are needed to promote awareness about pediatric vision needs and school-based vision programs among parents and facilitate return of consent forms.

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

 

Table 1: Participant demographics. Total n=191. 75/191 completed the demographic survey after IRB amendment to include the survey.

Table 1: Participant demographics. Total n=191. 75/191 completed the demographic survey after IRB amendment to include the survey.

 

Table 2: Summary of themes.

Table 2: Summary of themes.

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