VISION SCREENING OF PRESCHOOL CHILDREN IN THE UNITED STATES: PRACTICE, POLICY & GUIDELINES

Title VISION SCREENING OF PRESCHOOL CHILDREN IN THE UNITED STATES: PRACTICE, POLICY & GUIDELINES
Author, Co-Author
Topic
Year
1999
Day
Saturday
Program Number
Poster M
Room
Hall 4C
Affiliation
Abstract Vision problems of preschool children are detectable with a comprehensive eye examination. It is estimated that only 14% of children below the age of six years receive a comprehensive eye exam. Screening is advocated as a cost effective alternative to identify children in need of further vision care. The federal government has recognized this need in Public Law 99-457 which requires a statement about vision for each child entering an early intervention program such as Head Start. Sixteen states recommend or require vision screening of preschool children. In the majority of states neither the tests used nor the referral criteria are specified. Although these laws and guidelines exist, only 21% of preschool children are screened for vision problems. While guidelines for screening, including specific tests, are provided by several organizations, there is no agreement concerning the best screening methods. There is also no validated, highly effective method for vision screening of preschool children that is comparable to the Modified Clinical Techniques (MCT) effectivity in school aged populations (97%). This is because previous screening studies in preschool populations either (a) applied the MCT without adequate modifications for preschool children; (b) examined only one or two tests rather than a battery of tests, c) used tests beyond the cognitive abilities of preschool children, or (d) used tests that did not meet standards required of vision tests in adults. Newer screening tests have been designed specifically for preschool populations and can be administered by lay screeners. Most have not been validated and several are currently being used in the absence of convincing scientific evidence of their effectiveness. This poster summarizes and evaluates current laws and guidelines for preschool vision screening in the United States, reviews the advantages and disadvantages of specific test procedures and makes recommendations for scr
Affiliation of Co-Authors
Outline