Comparison of preschool vision screening methods in a population with a high prevalence of astigmatism

J. M. Miller, V. Dobson, E. M. Harvey, D. L. Sherrill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


Purpose. To compare the effectiveness of four methods of screening 3- to 5-year-old children for astigmatism high enough to require spectacle correction. Methods. Lea Symbols Visual Acuity Screening (LSVAS), MTI Photoscreening (MTIPS), Nidek KM-500 Keratometry Screening (KERS), and Retinomax K-Plus Noncycloplegic Autorefraction Screening (NCARS) were attempted on 379 preschool children who are members of a Native American tribe having a high prevalence of astigmatism that is primarily corneal in origin. The need for spectacle correction was determined by cycloplegic refraction. Receiver Operating Characteristic (ROC) curves were fit, confidence intervals were determined, and area under the curves was compared. Results. Astigmatism ≥ 1.00 D was present in the right eye of 47.5% and in the left eye of 48.0% of children. Spectacles were prescribed for children < 48 months of age who had cylinder ≥ 2.00 D and children ≥ 48 months who had cylinder ≥ 1.50 D, with the result that 33% of subjects required spectacles. Area under the ROC curve was 0.98 for NCARS, 0.92 for KERS, 0.78 for MTIPS, and 0.70 for LSVAS, and each of these values differed significantly from the other three (all P < 0.007). Testability was significantly higher for NCARS (99.5%) and KERS (99.7%) than for MTIPS (93.5%) and LSVAS (92.0%). Conclusions. In a population that included many children with astigmatism, objective, fully automated screening methods (NCARS and KERS) were superior to both visual acuity screening and photoscreening with subjective interpretation in identifying children who had astigmatism requiring spectacle correction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)917-924
Number of pages8
JournalInvestigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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