203312 Differences in concerns by ethnicity in results of the InfantSEE program

Tuesday, November 10, 2009: 1:30 PM

Timothy A. Wingert, OD , College of Optometry, University of Missouri-St. Louis, St. Louis, MO
Carl J. Bassi, PhD , University of Missouri-St. Louis, College of Optometry, St. Louis, MO
Jeffrey L. Weaver, OD , Clinical Care Group, AMERICAN OPTOMETRIC ASSOCIATION, St. Louis, MO
Ralph P. Garzia, OD , University of Missouri-St. Louis, College of Optometry, St. Louis, MO
Jamie Gold, BS , University of Missouri-St. Louis, College of Optometry, St. Louis, MO
Angela Engelkemeyer, BS , University of Missouri-St. Louis, College of Optometry, St. Louis, MO
Background: Health disparities are an area of concern for care givers and those interested in public health. Some of these disparities revolve around access to care and health care costs but many exist for other reasons.

Method: The InfantSEE® program provides a no cost, comprehensive visual assessment to infants between 6 and 12 months of age provided by optometrists in all fifty states who participate in the ® program. We analyzed the results of InfantSEE® assessments returned to the American Optometric Association from the first two years of the program . Chi square analyses were used to compare across reported ethnicity (African American, Asian, Caucasian, Hispanic) with identified problem (visual acuity, ocular Motility, binoculariy, refraction, and ocular health)

Results: Of the 19,363 infants seen in that time frame for whom we had received a completed assessment, concerns were noted at an overall rate of 23.6%. Hispanic infants had a higher rate of concerns for problems with visual acuity, binocularity, refractive error and ocular health (p<0.0001). African American infants had a higher rate of concerns expressed for visual acuity, binocularity, and refractive error (p<0.0001).

Conclusion: Further work needs to address the issue of whether these numbers reflect real differences in prevalence of visual problems or whether there is a difference in the populations presenting for care. Work must be done to educate parents of these children that a comprehensive assessment can inform them regarding risks their child may face and address those concerns before there is a reduction in visual performance.

Learning Objectives:
Describe the differences in concerns found during comprehensive visual assessments performed as part of the InfantSEE program by ethnicity of the child.

Keywords: Infant Health, Health Disparities

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have published numerous papers in this area and have analyzed the data for this study.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.