241080 Population-based estimates of US children with special health care needs who have uncorrected visual impairment

Monday, October 31, 2011: 12:30 PM

Kathleen S. O'Connor, MPH , Division of Health Interview Statistics, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics, Hyattsville, MD
Rosa Avila, MSPH , Center for Disease Control, National Center for Health Statistics, Hyattsville, MD
Children with special health care needs (CSHCN) need and utilize more health care and services than other children their age. According to the 2005-2006 National Survey of CSHCN, over 2.8 million CSHCN in the US had problems seeing, of which 25% had uncorrected vision problems: visually impaired even when using eyewear (glasses or contacts) or because they do not use eyewear. This survey was a random-digit-dial household telephone survey of CSHCN 0-18 years old, funded by the Maternal and Child Health Bureau and conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics. This analysis examines various health indicators for CSHCN with uncorrected vision at the national and state levels to improve our understanding of the health and wellbeing of these children.

Among the 50 states and DC, the number of CSHCN with uncorrected vision ranged from approximately 800 to 60,000 children. Compared to CSHCN who had corrected vision with the use of eyewear, CSHCN with uncorrected vision were more likely to have difficulty learning and communicating, and they experienced considerably higher levels of co-morbidity, functional limitations, and emotional/behavioral problems. CSHCN with uncorrected vision were also significantly more likely to have inadequate insurance coverage, problems getting needed referrals, and unmet needs for access to eyewear/vision care, care coordination and family centered care. Overall, CSHCN with uncorrected vision seem to experience considerable health and health care disparities when compared to those with corrected vision. Results of this study may help target significant areas of need for CSHCN with uncorrected vision.

Learning Areas:
Public health or related education
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
To describe health care characteristics of CSHCN who have uncorrected vision.

Keywords: Child Health, Children With Special Needs

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to present because I oversee the survey development of various national child health surveys at the CDC's National Center for Health Statistics and have conducted several research projects using these data.
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.