OBJECTIVE: To study spectacle wear among rural Chinese children. METHODS: Visual acuity, refraction, spectacle wear, and visual function were measured. RESULTS: Among 1892 subjects (84.7% of the sample), the mean (SD) age was 14.7 (0.8) years. Among 948 children (50.1%) potentially benefiting from spectacle wear, 368 (38.8%) did not own them. Among 580 children owning spectacles, 17.9% did not wear them at school. Among 476 children wearing spectacles, 25.0% had prescriptions that could not improve their visual acuity to better than 6/12. Therefore, 62.3% (591 of 948) of children needing spectacles did not benefit from appropriate correction. Children not owning and not wearing spectacles had better self-reported visual function but worse visual acuity at initial examination than children wearing spectacles and had a mean (SD) refractive error of -2.06 (1.15) diopter (D) and -2.78 (1.32) D, respectively. Girls (P < .001) and older children (P = .03) were more likely to be wearing their spectacles. A common reason for nonwear (17.0%) was the belief that spectacles weaken the eyes. Among children without spectacles, 79.3% said their families would pay for them (mean, US $15). CONCLUSIONS: Although half of the children could benefit from spectacle wear, 62.3% were not wearing appropriate correction. These children have significant uncorrected refractive errors. There is potential to support programs through spectacle sales.
|Journal||Archives of Ophthalmology|
|Publication status||Published - 2008|
Congdon N, Zheng M, Sharma A, Choi K, Song Y, Zhang M, Wang M, Zhou Z, Li L, Liu X, Liu X, Lam DS. (2008). Prevalence and determinants of spectacle nonwear among rural Chinese secondary schoolchildren: the Xichang Pediatric Refractive Error Study Report 3. Archives of Ophthalmology.