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Turk J Ophthalmol. 2019 Feb 28;49(1):25-29. doi: 10.4274/tjo.galenos.2018.10829.

Approach of Family Physicians to Pediatric Eye Screening in Diyarbakır

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Dicle University Faculty of Medicine, Department of Ophthalmology, Diyarbakır, Turkey
University of Health Sciences, Gazi Yaşargil Training and Research Hospital, Ophthalmology Clinic, Diyarbakır, Turkey



In Turkey, preventive medicine services are the responsibility of family physicians and vision screening is a key component of this responsibility. In this study, we aimed to investigate the approach of family physicians to vision screening in infants and children.

Materials and Methods:

Data were collected using a 16-item questionnaire administered to 100 family physicians working in the center and provinces of Diyarbakır.


The results indicated that 88 (88%) physicians declared knowing what the red reflex test was, while 12 physicians declared that they had never heard of it. Only 16 (16%) physicians performed the test routinely and 36 (36%) physicians performed it only in suspicious cases. Ten (10%) physicians indicated that they did not refer the patients to an ophthalmologist even though they did not perform the red reflex test. Moreover, 5 (5%) physicians did not have an ophthalmoscope and 12 (12%) physicians reported not knowing how to use an ophthalmoscope. Forty (40%) of the physicians measured preschool visual acuity at least once. Sixty-six (66%) physicians referred younger children who could not express their vision problems to an ophthalmologist. Four (4%) physicians declared that they would delay surgery in children with strabismus until they were old enough for surgery. Ninety-three (93%) physicians suggested that educational seminars about vision screening would be beneficial.


Educational seminars about vision screening may have favorable outcomes. The medical devices in family medicine centers should be improved. Vision screening can be added to the negative performance-based compensation system in order to increase physicians’ attention to vision screening. To implement detailed eye screening programs like those in developed countries, an infrastructure should be established for this screening program.


Red reflex test; eye screening; congenital cataract; retinoblastoma; negative performance

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