Visual function and reading abilities in Norwegian children aged 8 to 12 years

Title Visual function and reading abilities in Norwegian children aged 8 to 12 years
Author, Co-Author Simon Dorheim, Eli Aspelund, Liv Froyland, Anne Marit Hegge, Jona Ragnarsdottir, Heidi Refseth, Trine Langaas
Topic Binocular Vision/Pediatrics
Year
2016
Day
Thursday
Program Number
165002
Room
Ballroom A-B
Affiliation
Optometry and Vision Science Univ. College of SE Norway
Abstract

Purpose: Reading tasks are challenging for the visual system but under normal conditions reading is more or less effortless. The correlation between visual function and reading is highly debated. The main purpose of the study was to get a better understanding of how the visual function correlate with the ability to read, with special consideration to binocular function, eye movements and visual perception.

Methods: The study was performed at 4 optometric practices in Norway. Attending for an eye examination, 81 children aged 8 to 12 yrs (10.1 ± 1.3), with and without reading problems, were enrolled in the study after informed consent. The children underwent an optometric evaluation, as well as supplementary tests consisting of Developmental Eye Movement test (DEM), Test of Visual Perceptual Skills (TVPS), Spraak 6-16 screening test for reading abilities (reading speed and language comprehension) and Convergence Insufficiency Symptoms Survey (CISS). A subgroup (n = 70) were also asked whether they had reading problems.

Results: Significant correlations were found between DEM and reading speed (r = 0.54, p < 0.001), between TVPS and language comprehension (r = 0.51, p < 0.001), and between reading speed and CISS-score (r = 0.35, p = 0.02). There were no significant correlation between reading and binocular or accommodative functions. Children with self-reported reading problems (46%), compared to those reporting no reading problems, showed significantly lower reading speed (p < 0.001), near visual acuity (VA) (p < 0.05), corrected distance VA (p < 0.05), NPC (p < 0.05), DEM score (p < 0.001) and TVPS score (p < 0.001).

Conclusion: In an unselected group of children attending an optometric practice for eye examination, correlations were found between reading speed, DEM and CISS. Children with subjective reading problems showed differences in several measures of visual functions.

Affiliation of Co-Authors Optometry and Vis Sci, Univ College of Southeast Norway, Optometry and Vis Sci, Univ College of Southeast Norway, Optometry and Vis Sci, Univ College of Southeast Norway, Optometry and Vis Sci, Univ College of Southeast Norway, Optometry and Vis Sci, Univ College of Southeast Norway, Optometry and Vis Sci, Univ College of Southeast Norway
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