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Meredith Spitz, Ankur Parikh, Sergul Ayse Erzurum; The impact of corrective vision intervention in the lives of underserved youth. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2020;61(7):240.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
This retrospective analysis evaluates the significance of in-school childhood complete eye exams in improving the behavior and academic performance of underserved youth in urban school districts as well as tabulating the pathology identified in these children.
A retrospective review was conducted on the effects of vision intervention and resulting behavior and academic performance in children between the ages of five to fourteen at three urban school districts. During the 2019-2020 school year, 2,600 students were screened according to requirements by the Ohio Department of Health. Students who failed vision screenings and returned parental consents for examination were provided a full eye exam by an ophthalmic professional to identify refractive errors and any pathologies. If corrective lenses were indicated, students were provided eye glasses and dispensing occurred in the schools. Student behavior was evaluated according to the number of discipline referrals and daily attendance rate. Academic performance was measured by analyzing standardized test scores. Secondary endpoints including pathologies were evaluated.
In the fall of 2019, 2,600 students were screened and 750 of these children failed their vision assessment. Out of the 750 students, 550 children returned consent forms for full eye exams. Percentage of children requiring glasses and success rate of the screening process will be assessed. Results from the exams will report pathology documented including strabismus, convergence insufficiency, exotropia, esotropia, amblyopia, and refractive errors. Other assessments will include change in attendance rate, discipline referrals, and academic results from fall to spring. State English Language Arts and State Math test scores will be compared to normative change in the same school, as well as NWEA Reading and Math Winter-to-Spring RIT scores. Comparitave analyses will be conducted between students who failed the initial screening exam and received glasses to students who failed the initial screening exam but did not participate further in the program.
Results of this study will demonstrate the impact early corrective vision intervention can have in improving the trajectory of student academic performance and behavior. Eye care providers involved in community outreach initiatives have the unique opportunity to create a significant change in the lives of at-risk children.
This is a 2020 ARVO Annual Meeting abstract.
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