Author

Yuqi Huang

Date of Award

12-5-2008

Degree Type

Closed Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Public Health (MPH)

Department

Public Health

First Advisor

Karen E. Gieseker, Ph.D., M.S. - Chair

Second Advisor

Michael P. Eriksen, Sc.D.

Third Advisor

Pyone Cho, M.D., M.P.H., M.A.

Abstract

Vision impairment is recognized as a global public health problem. Children are the most susceptible population to many of the vision diseases. Knowledge of the causes and prevalence of common types of visual impairments is important for planning of preventive health care services to ensure that the children receive proper eye care in a timely manner. The purpose of this thesis is to describe the prevalence of visual impairment and to identify associated risk factors among the prekindergarten children in Georgia. During August 2005 to May 2006, there were 30,115 prekindergarten children enrolled in the Prevent Blindness Georgia Children Vision Screening Program, and a total of 25,543 (84.8%) children received vision screening. A total of 1,345 (5.27%) children had visual impairments and were referred to take an eye exam. Over 80% of the children who were referred and received eye exams were found to have vision problems. Timely screening is one of the effective ways for early detection of vision problems among these children. This study showed there were significant differences in the screening rate between the children with high socioeconomic status and those with low socioeconomic status. Educational and promotion programs should focus on improving the knowledge of vision diseases and use of available preventive service, particularly by the community of low socioeconomic status.

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