Preschool vision testing by health providers in the United States: Findings from the 2006-2007 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey

Alex R. Kemper, David K. Wallace, Nita Patel, John E. Crews

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

14 Scopus citations


Background: Few data are available regarding the rate of preschool vision screening. The purpose of this study is to estimate the current rate of vision testing among children ages 3 through 6 years by any health care provider and to the characterize the children reported to have been tested. Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional analysis of the 4,237 children aged 3 through 6 years included in either the 2006 or 2007 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey. Household respondents were asked whether selected children ever had vision testing by a doctor or other health provider. Data were weighted to make estimates representative of the civilian noninstitutionalized population. Results: Overall, 64.9% (95% CI, 62.9%-66.9%) of children 3 through 6 years of age were reported to have ever had vision testing. The likelihood of previous reported testing increased with age, from 42.9% among 3-year-olds to 79.4% among 6-year-olds (P < 0.001). After adjusting for age, family income, insurance status, whether the child had a regular health care provider, and whether the child had special health care needs, we found that lower odds of testing were reported among non-Hispanic white children (odds ratio [OR], 0.73; 95% CI, 0.55-0.97) and among Hispanic children (OR, 0.62; 95% CI, 0.47-0.82) compared with non-Hispanic black children (OR, 1). Conclusions: These findings highlight the gaps in the delivery of preschool vision screening. Improved population-level surveillance of children's vision and methods to track use of vision-related health services are needed to inform policy makers to develop new strategies to improve care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)480-483
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of AAPOS
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2011
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Ophthalmology

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