PURPOSE: To evaluate visual acuity, visual function, and prevalence of refractive error among Chinese secondary-school children in a cross-sectional school-based study. METHODS: Uncorrected, presenting, and best corrected visual acuity, cycloplegic autorefraction with refinement, and self-reported visual function were assessed in a random, cluster sample of rural secondary school students in Xichang, China. RESULTS: Among the 1892 subjects (97.3% of the consenting children, 84.7% of the total sample), mean age was 14.7 +/- 0.8 years, 51.2% were female, and 26.4% were wearing glasses. The proportion of children with uncorrected, presenting, and corrected visual disability (< or = 6/12 in the better eye) was 41.2%, 19.3%, and 0.5%, respectively. Myopia < -0.5, < -2.0, and < -6.0 D in both eyes was present in 62.3%, 31.1%, and 1.9% of the subjects, respectively. Among the children with visual disability when tested without correction, 98.7% was due to refractive error, while only 53.8% (414/770) of these children had appropriate correction. The girls had significantly (P < 0.001) more presenting visual disability and myopia < -2.0 D than did the boys. More myopic refractive error was associated with worse self-reported visual function (ANOVA trend test, P < 0.001). CONCLUSIONS: Visual disability in this population was common, highly correctable, and frequently uncorrected. The impact of refractive error on self-reported visual function was significant. Strategies and studies to understand and remove barriers to spectacle wear are needed.
|Journal||Investigative Opthalmology and Visual Science|
|Publication status||Published - 2008|