Research

High Rates of Uncorrected Vision Conditions among Schoolchildren in Rural Queensland, Australia

This study reveals significant uncorrected vision issues among Australian secondary schoolchildren in rural areas, with a particular focus on the eye examination rates for Australian Indigenous children. The persistence of uncorrected vision problems throughout a student's educational journey has substantial implications for their overall well-being and academic performance. In this study, 280 students aged 4 to 18, with 40% identifying as Indigenous, underwent comprehensive eye examinations. Shockingly, the overall prevalence of uncorrected vision conditions was 35%. Notably, non-Indigenous children were 2.3 times more likely to have had prior eye exams compared to Indigenous children, even though both groups experienced high rates of uncorrected vision issues. Moreover, among children with significant refractive errors, a staggering 82% remained uncorrected, with only 39% of Indigenous and 54% of non-Indigenous children having received previous eye examinations. These findings underscore the pressing need to address factors influencing eye examination rates and adherence to corrective measures, given the potential impact of untreated vision conditions on these children.

Publication date

January 1, 2022

Publication

Optometry and Vision Science

Sponsor Institution

QUT Faculty of Health Pilot Project Grant; IHBI Vision and Eye Health Research Development Grant; and Australian Government Research Training Stipend

Authors

Rebecca A. Cox; Scott A. Read; Shelley Hopkins; Joanne M Wood
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