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THE JOURNAL OF SCHOOL AND UNIVERSITY MEDICINE - Volume 8, Issue 3, July-September 2021

Pages: 36-42
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Author: Oana Teodosescu , Mihai Mara, Cristina Vladutiu, Simona Cainap, Daniela Rajka

Category: Medical


AIMS: The EUSCREEN study aims to compare vision and hearing screening programs for children in all EU states by using a cost-optimization model. A model-developed vision screening program has been tested in the county of Cluj in Romania. The ultimate goal would be to implement a nationwide vision screening program designed to detect visual deficiencies in children.

METHODS: 98 nurses trained by UMF Cluj examined children aged 4 and 5 in public and private kindergartens and in rural family doctors' offices in 2018 and 2019: 6951 children were examined in Cluj-Napoca, 2677 children in the other 5 municipalities in the county and 3241 children were tested in the rural areas.

RESULTS: In the city of Cluj-Napoca 49 nurses from public kindergartens and 4 nurses and 1 doctor from the private kindergartens were enrolled in the project. They examined 6951 children (74% of the eligible). In the five smaller cities 23 nurses examined 2677 children (76% of the eligible).In the rural areas 3241 children (47% of the eligible) were examined by 33 screeners: 2 travelling nurses, 2 family doctors, 29 family doctors nurses.

12080 children were first examined using the E charts while 789 children were examined using the Lea charts. On the second examination 125 children were examined using the E charts and 210 using the Lea charts, and on the third examination 24 children were examined using only Lea charts.

From the 12869 examined children 11328 children had a normal visual acuity for their age, while 1507 children were referred for an ophthalmologic examination: 946 children from Cluj-Napoca (13.60%), 253 children (9,45%) from the other five cities in the country and 308 children (9.5%) from rural areas. Only 419 results were collected from the ophthalmologists: 280 (30%) reports of children from Cluj-Napoca, 88 (35%) forms from children in the small cities, and only 51 (17%) reports of children from the rural areas.

In 212 out of the total 419 children examined by ophthalmologists (representing 50.59%) a visual acuity disorder was documented. 201 children (47.97%) had a visual acuity within the normal range for the age. The leading causes supposedly responsible for the reduction in visual acuity were: refractive errors (194), strabismus (19), functional amblyopia (38) and organic causes (3). Strabismus was detected in a number of 19 children (4,53%).

Optical correction was prescribed in 171 cases, while 37 patients were also recommended occlusion therapy. According to the ophthalmological reports, 234 children required a follow-up at a variable interval (ranging between 2 months and 1year)

CONCLUSIONS: The high number of confirmed cases of visual acuity disorders, the important number of glasses prescriptions and the detection of cases that require occlusion treatment emphasizes the value of visual screening.

Keywords: visual screening, children

DOI: 10.51546/JSUM.2021.8303



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