Screening of visual disorders in primary schools: a cross-sectional study from devrek, türkiye
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Zonguldak Devrek District Health Directorate Turkey
Zonguldak Devrek State Hospital Turkey
Publication date: 2023-04-26
Popul. Med. 2023;5(Supplement):A1146
Considering neuronal plasticity in early childhood, screening and interventions for visual impairment are cost-effective, because of their impact on DALY. It was aimed to detect and evaluate the most prevalent vision disorders that may lead to the development of amblyopia (lazy eye).

Media opacity, anisocoria, strabism, anisometropia, astigmatism, myopia and hyperopia diseases were screened by mobile binocular infrared photo retinoscopy (Plusoptix A12R, Germany) in 467 children in 8 primary schools in Zonguldak Devrek district. 55 (63.2%) of the 87 children who were found to have visual disorders on screening, were evaluated in the referred district hospitals ophthalmology clinic in terms of demographic data, medical history, refraction values with cycloplegia, best corrected visual acuity (BCVA, logMAR), strabismus and amblyopia.

In primary school vision screening, 18.3% of children (n=87) were referred to the hospital. Among the children (n=55) examined by the ophthalmologist, the mean age was 7.1 years, and 50.9% were girls. The median spherical equivalent values of the students were -0.25 (min:-2.38–max:7.13) and -0.25 (min:-2.63–max:8.25) in the right and left eye, respectively. The mean BCVA were 0.05 (min:0–max:1) and 0.1 (min:0–max:1.51) in the right and left eye, respectively. After the examination, 81.8% of the patients (n=45) were prescribed eyeglasses, and occlusion treatment was recommended for 3 new-diagnosed amblyopia. Occlusion treatment was also recommended for 15 students who didn’t meet the definition of amblyopia but whose visual acuity was not complete. Strabismus was not detected in any of the 55 students.

When the age-specific treatment costs were evaluated according to the literature, it was determined that only 3 new amblyopia early diagnoses in primary school 1st grades cover the cost of the screening device. Therefore, visual disorder screening in primary schools should be implemented as a standard, as it offers an effective intervention at a low cost.

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