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Vision Res. 1998 Jul;38(14):2203-10.

Automated visual field examination in children aged 5-8 years. Part I: Experimental validation of a testing procedure.

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Neuro-ophthalmology Unit, Geneva University Hospital, Switzerland.


In 106 children aged 5-8 years, we determined how much training was needed to stabilize the response strategy prior to actual visual field assessment and we evaluated the reliability and acceptable duration of automated static perimetry (Octopus 2000R). A specially designed familiarization procedure was used to train the children to: (1) gaze at the center of the visual field while paying attention to light stimuli projected onto the periphery and (2) press the buzzer only when light stimuli were perceived. The subsequent examination phase consisted of 15 successive identical blocks of 27 trials (12 stimulus trials, 12 false-positive catch-trials, and three false-negative catch-trials), and was stopped before the end if signs of fatigue appeared. Age had a marked influence both on endurance (the number of blocks performed increased significantly) and on response reliability (false-positive responses decreased between 5- and 6-year-olds). The increase in false-negative responses toward the end indicates that examination is no longer reliable, and should be stopped. We concluded that most children as young as five can undergo examination by automated static perimetry. Changes regarding learning, stimulus intensity and testing procedure are suggested in order to adapt the examination to age, level of vigilance and health condition of the children.

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