OBJECTIVE:

Recent US Preventive Services Task Force recommendations on vision screening reported insufficient data to recommend vision screening in children <3 years of age. The Iowa photoscreening program, KidSight, has screened children from 6 months of age and older since 2000. We report our experience with vision screening in these children and compare the results of the photoscreens in children younger than 3 years with those of children of preschool age and older.

METHODS:

A retrospective review of results from the Iowa KidSight database using the MTI PhotoScreener containing results of children screened between May 1, 2000, and April 30, 2011.

RESULTS:

During the 11 years of the study, 210 695 photoscreens on children were performed at 13 750 sites. In the <3-year age group, the unreadable rate was 13.0%, the referral rate was 3.3%, and the overall positive-predictive value was 86.6%. In the 3- to 6-year-old children, the unreadable rate was 4.1%, the referral rate was 4.7%, and the overall positive-predictive value was 89.4%.

CONCLUSIONS:

No statistically significant difference was found in screening children from 1 to 3 years old compared with screening children >3 years old. These results confirm that early screening, before amblyopia is more pronounced, can reliably detect amblyogenic risk factors in children younger than 3 years of age, and we recommend initiation of photoscreening in children aged 1 year and older.

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