A systematic review of vision screening tests for the detection of amblyopia

Alex R. Kemper, Peter A. Margolis, Stephen M. Downs, W. Clayton Bordley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

27 Scopus citations


Objective. To review the test characteristics and the quality of evidence regarding available screening tests for the detection of amblyopia in preschool-aged children to help primary care practitioners select a screening Strategy. Design. Systematic review of published studies. Data Sources. The MEDLINE database was searched from 1966 through January 1999 using a broad and inclusive strategy. A total of 9551 citations were identified. Study Selection. All studies that compared the results of commercially available screening tests in preschool-aged children to ophthalmologic examination. Data Extraction. The setting of the study, the age of the population, the type of screening test, criteria for a positive screen, criteria for the ophthalmologic examination, test characteristics, and measures of reliability were abstracted by 2 reviewers for each selected study. Data Synthesis. Four eligible articles were identified that studied the test characteristics of 3 screening tests. None of these studies were performed in a primary care setting. Each study used different criteria for failure of the ophthalmologic examination. None of the studies measured observer or test reliability. Conclusions. Few high-quality data exist regarding the performance of preschool vision screening. Important future work should include the development of a consensus gold standard ophthalmologic examination and evaluation of screening tests in the primary care setting.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1220-1222
Number of pages3
Issue number5 II
StatePublished - Nov 1999
Externally publishedYes


  • Amblyopia
  • Preschool-aged children
  • Vision screening tests

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

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    Kemper, A. R., Margolis, P. A., Downs, S. M., & Bordley, W. C. (1999). A systematic review of vision screening tests for the detection of amblyopia. Pediatrics, 104(5 II), 1220-1222.