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This article is the author's final published version in Clinical Ophthalmology, Volume 17, 2023, Pg. 1729 - 1737.

The published version is available at Copyright © 2023 Rohn et al. This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited.


SIGNIFICANCE: The need for early identification and treatment of young children's refractive error needs has become a public health concern. The UCSD Eyemobile for Children (EyeMobile) provides vision screenings and comprehensive eye exams on the Eyemobile among a population of underserved, predominantly Hispanic preschool and elementary school children. The program also provides spectacles for children who fail eye exams due to refractive error.

METHODS: We performed a retrospective cross-sectional analysis of all children screened from 2011 to 2017 by the Eyemobile across 10 San Diego elementary schools. We examined demographics, distance and near visual acuity, autorefraction, stereopsis, and color vision. To measure compliance to our spectacle program, we checked if children who were prescribed spectacles were wearing them, as instructed, at the following year's screening. Differences between compliance measures with respect to school, age, ethnicity, and gender were determined using chi-square analysis, while all other measures were fit to a binary logistic regression to determine statistically significant factors.

RESULTS: A total of 12,176 elementary school children were screened between 2011 and 2017. Of these children, 5269 (43.3%) were referred for a comprehensive eye examination. Across six years, 3163 (60.0%) of the children referred completed their eye examinations. There was a significant increase (p < 0.001) in exam completion in the successive years. Exam completion was significantly higher in ten-year-olds (p = 0.0278) and in 3 of the 10 schools (p < 0.0001, p = 0.0027, and p = 0.0309). A total of 1089 (8.9% of screened) children were prescribed spectacles. Of the 409 children that were recorded with the compliance method, 342 (83.6%) were found to be fully compliant and wearing their spectacles as prescribed.

CONCLUSION: The Eyemobile program demonstrated high levels of compliance for both eye examination completion and prescribed spectacle wear in underserved populations in the San Diego region, compared to similar national programs.

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