Online Program

Impact of integrated vision health interventions on follow-up care for children who failed vision screening in head start programs in Boston, Massachusetts

Monday, November 4, 2013

Karine Martirosyan, MD, MPH, Head Start and Children's Services Department, Action for Boston Community Development, Inc, Boston, MA
Jennifer Pawson, BA, MS, RN, Head Start and Children's Services, Action for Boston Community Development, Inc., Boston, MA
Karen Hampanda, MPH, PhD candidate, Department of Health and Behavioral Sciences, University of Colorado Denver, Denver, CO
Katherine Majzoub, RN, MBA, Prevent Blindness America, Boston, MA
Catherine A. Johnson, OD, Department of Specialty and Advanced Care, New England College of Optometry, Boston, MA
Objectives: In the United States, the most prevalent disabling childhood conditions are vision disorders. Children from poor, urban areas, the population that Action for Boston Community Development Head Start serves, have the highest rates of vision problems. Children are referred to eye doctors for examinations and treatment based on Head Start vision screening results. The aim of this study was to evaluate the impact of integrated vision health interventions on follow-up care for children who failed Head Start vision screening. Methods: A cross sectional study of data from two school years (2007-2008 and 2011-2012) was used to evaluate follow-up for children who failed vision screening. Data was collected from Head Start health records and Promis Cleverex V5.16 database. Results: All children enrolled in Head Start have vision screening within 45 days of entry. In school year 2007-2008, 572 children failed screening and were referred for follow-up care; 14% received timely eye examinations. In school year 2011-2012, 419 children failed vision screening; all children received timely eye examinations and treatment. Conclusion: Increased access to eye examinations/treatment, and increased parent and staff awareness of pediatric vision issues has resulted in timely follow-up care for all referred children. Partnerships with New England College of Optometry/New England Eye and Prevent Blindness of America have supported ABCD Head Start's goal of correcting vision problems in preschool children to promote healthy vision and school readiness.

Learning Areas:

Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Systems thinking models (conceptual and theoretical models), applications related to public health

Learning Objectives:
Evaluate impact of integrated vision health interventions on follow-up care and utilization of vision care services by Head Start parents.

Keyword(s): Access to Health Care, Head Start

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the Health Services Director for Action for Boston Community Development (ABCD) Head Start and Children’s Services Department
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.