203321 Educating Women about Uncorrected Refractive Error: A Snapshot of Healthy Vision Month 2009

Tuesday, November 10, 2009: 8:33 AM

Neyal J. Ammary-Risch, MPH, MCHES , National Eye Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD
John McInerney, MA , Strategic Communications and Marketing Division, ICF Macro, Rockville, MD
Melinda Moyer, MS , Macro International, Inc., Rockville, MD
Linda Huss , National Eye Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD
Shelly Heath-Watson, MA , Macro International, Inc., Rockville, MD
More than 11 million Americans have common vision problems, such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism, and presbyopia and can benefit from the use of corrective eyewear. Women, in particular, have high rates of uncorrected refractive error, which can be corrected; 26 percent more women aged 12 and older have uncorrected visual impairment due to refractive error compared with men aged 12 and older, while 14 percent more women aged 40 and older have refractive errors compared with men aged 40 and older. This year's Healthy Vision Month observance, sponsored by the National Eye Institute (NEI), focused on Healthy People 2010 Vision Objective 28.3: Reduce uncorrected impairment due to refractive errors. Educational efforts were tailored to women ages 35-55 with the goal of encouraging them to schedule an appointment with their eye care professional for a comprehensive dilated eye examination. Included in these efforts were formative research with women in the target demographic, the development of tailored educational resources, and targeted media efforts. This presentation will discuss the strategies used during the Healthy Vision Month observance to increase awareness among women about the importance of eye exams. It will also describe contents of the Healthy Eyes Toolkit which was developed for health educators and health professionals with an interest in vision and eye health to promote eye exams in their community. Evaluation measures will also be discussed.

Learning Objectives:
•Discuss background information on Healthy Vision Month 2009 •Describe strategies used by the National Eye Institute to increase awareness among women about uncorrected refractive error •List educational resources available for promoting comprehensive dilated eye examinations

Keywords: Vision Care, Health Promotion

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I assisted in the development and implementation of Healthy Vision Month 2009
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.