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A survey of visual function in an Austrian population of school-age children with reading and writing difficulties

Dusek, WA, PIERSCIONEK, BK and McClelland, Julie (2010) A survey of visual function in an Austrian population of school-age children with reading and writing difficulties. BMC Ophthalmology, 10 (16). [Journal article]

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DOI: 10.1186/1471-2415-10-16


BackgroundTo describe and compare visual function measures of two groups of school age children (6-14 years of age) attending a specialist eyecare practice in Austria; one group referred to the practice from educational assessment centres diagnosed with reading and writing difficulties and the other, a clinical age-matched control group. MethodsRetrospective clinical data from one group of subjects with reading difficulties (n=825) and a clinical control group of subjects (n=328) were examined. Statistical analysis was performed to determine whether any differences existed between visual function measures from each group (refractive error, visual acuity, binocular status, accommodative function and reading speed and accuracy). ResultsStatistical analysis using one way ANOVA demonstrated no differences between the two groups in terms of refractive error and the size or direction of heterophoria at distance (p>0.05). Using predominately one way ANOVA and chi-square analyses, those subjects in the referred group were statistically more likely to have poorer distance visual acuity, an exophoric deviation at near, a lower amplitude of accommodation, reduced accommodative facility, reduced vergence facility, a reduced near point of convergence, a lower AC/A ratio and a slower reading speed than those in the clinical control group (p<0.05). ConclusionsThis study highlights the high proportions of visual function anomalies in a group of children with reading difficulties in an Austrian population. It confirms the importance of a full assessment of binocular visual status in order to detect and remedy these deficits in order to prevent the visual problems continuing to impact upon educational development.

Item Type:Journal article
Faculties and Schools:Faculty of Life and Health Sciences
Faculty of Life and Health Sciences > School of Biomedical Sciences
Research Institutes and Groups:Biomedical Sciences Research Institute
Biomedical Sciences Research Institute > Optometry and Vision Science
ID Code:13988
Deposited By: Dr Julie McClelland
Deposited On:01 Jun 2010 08:24
Last Modified:09 May 2016 11:02

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