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Gaps seen in childhood vision screening and vision care

Gaps seen in childhood vision screening, vision care

Gaps in access to childhood vision screening and vision care are prevalent among historically marginalized racial and ethnic groups and socioeconomically vulnerable families, according to a research letter published online in JAMA Ophthalmology.

Isdin Oke, M.D., from Boston Children's Hospital, and colleagues sought to identify gaps in the vision screening pathways for U.S. children. The analysis included data from 30,173 (aged six to <18 years) participating in the 2021 National Survey of Children's Health.

The researchers found that 61 percent of participants reported receiving vision screening within the last two years. Among those receiving screening, 30 percent were referred for an eye examination. The vast majority of those referred (92 percent) reported establishing care with a specialist.

Children identifying as Hispanic, Asian, or Black and those residing in low-income households or with a non-English primary household language were less likely to receive screening, more likely to be referred for an eye examination, and less likely to establish care with a specialist. Similarly, adolescents, children without health insurance, and children with caregivers with less than high school education were less likely to receive screening and more likely to be referred for an eye examination.

"The current approach to screening in the United States may not adequately provide care to all children," the authors write.

More information: Isdin Oke et al, Gaps in the Vision Screening Pathway for School-Aged US Children, JAMA Ophthalmology (2024). DOI: 10.1001/jamaophthalmol.2023.6316

Journal information: JAMA Ophthalmology

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Citation: Gaps seen in childhood vision screening and vision care (2024, January 31) retrieved 22 April 2024 from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2024-01-gaps-childhood-vision-screening.html
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