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Oman J Ophthalmol. 2019 May-Aug;12(2):114-118. doi: 10.4103/ojo.OJO_62_2017.

Refractive error of Saudi children enrolled in primary school and kindergarten measured with a spot screener.

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1
Department of Research, King Khaled Eye Specialist Hospital, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Abstract

AIMS:

To evaluate the refractive status of young Saudi schoolchildren with a "Spot Screener."

SUBJECTS AND METHODS:

This cross-sectional study was conducted from January to July 2016 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Children of kindergarten (3-5 years) and grades 1 and 2 (6-7 years) were screened for refractive error (RE) using the handheld Spot Screener (Welch Allyn, Skaneateles Falls, NY, USA). Data were collected on age, gender, and spectacle use. The pass/fail notation from the Spot Screener and the RE were documented. Children with a "fail" were re-tested with an autorefractor (AR). The rate of agreement was evaluated for the spherical equivalent (SE) from the Spot Screener and AR.

RESULTS:

We examined 300 schoolchildren and 114 preschool children. The prevalence of RE was 22% in schoolchildren and 25% in preschoolers. There were 183 (61%) hyperopes, 110 (36.7%) myopes, 6 (2%) emmetropes, and 29 (9.7%) astigmats (>2 D cylinder) in grade 1 and 2. There were 85 (74.6%) hyperopes, 22 (19.3%) myopes, 7 (6.1%) emmetropes, and 10 (8.8%) astigmats among preschoolers. The SE differed between the AR and the Spot Screener in 17 (28%) children of 61 failed Spot Screener tests. Accommodation (9, 53%) and high astigmatism (8, 47%) were the main underlying causes of the difference. The Spot Screener could identify RE for the first time in 51 (17%) schoolchildren and 26 (22%) preschoolers. End-users suggested that Spot Screener was child-friendly and quick to test RE.

CONCLUSIONS:

The Spot Screener could be a good initial screening tool for RE in young schoolchildren.

KEYWORDS:

Childhood blindness; eye screening; myopia; refractive error

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