Exploring pre-school vision screening in primary care offices in Alabama

Academic Article

Abstract

  • Purpose.: To investigate practices, barriers, and facilitators of universal pre-school vision screening (PVS) at pediatric primary care offices. Methods.: Focus group sessions (FGS) were moderated on-site at nine pediatric practices. A semi-structured topic guide was used to standardize and facilitate FGS. Discussions were audiotaped, and transcriptions were used to develop themes. All authors reviewed and agreed on the resultant themes. Results.: FGS included 13 physicians and 32 nurses/certified medical assistants (CMAs), of whom 82% personally conducted some facet of PVS. In all practices, nurses/CMAs tested visual acuity (most using a non-recommended test), and physicians completed vision screening with external observation, fix/follow, red reflex, and cover test. Facilitators included (1) accepting that PVS is a routine part of the well-child visit, and (2) using an electronic medical record with prompts to record acuity (eight of nine practices). Barriers were related to difficulty testing pre-schoolers, distractions in the office setting, time constraints, and limited reimbursement. Conclusions.: Responsibility for PVS is shared by physicians and nurses/CMAs; thus, interventions to improve PVS should target both. Few practices are aware of new evidence-based PVS tests; thus, active translational efforts are needed to change current primary care practices. Copyright © 2012 American Academy of Optometry.
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Marsh-Tootle WL; Frazier MG; Kohler CL; Dillard CM; Davis K; Schoenberger YM; Wall TC
  • Volume

  • 89
  • Issue

  • 10