Vision screening of primary school children
Catriona Kerr A school nurse, Yorkhill NHS Trust, Glasgow
This week’s report in Nursing Standard (p44) looks at the issues of vision screening for primary school children. In this article, the author describes how she carried out a study to explore whether there was an increase in the number of primary school children failing vision screening tests. During this exploratory study, the visual screening records of 3,447 children from eight Glasgow primary schools were examined. From 1989/90 and 1994/95 onwards, the author observed an increase in the number of children failing the visual acuity screening test. This article describes the study and the possible reasons for the findings
The purpose of childhood vision screening is the early detection and treatment of ophthalmic disorders and surveillance for visual defects throughout childhood. Unlike other screening programmes which aim to identify a single disease entity, the objective of vision screening is to search for a range of visual problems. There is little information about the effectiveness of screening for abnormalities in childhood even though there are obvious difficulties in measuring and interpreting children’s visual function. Most, although by no means all, health districts have provided vision screening for school children for over 20 years.
Nursing Standard. 12, 13, 46-48. doi: 10.7748/ns.12.15.46.s52