Online Program

Evaluating the Academic Impact of a Visual Correction in Children in a Large Urban Setting

Tuesday, November 3, 2015 : 3:30 p.m. - 3:50 p.m.

Sandra Block, OD M Ed MPH, Illinois College of Optometry, Chicago, IL
Melissa Suckow, OD, IEI at Princeton, Illinois College of Optometry, Chicago, IL
Valarie Conrad, OD, MPH, ARM, Vice President of Compliance & Community-Based Services, Illinois College of Optometry, Chicago, IL

This retrospective study compared standardized math and reading scores from before the eye exam for children in grades 4 through 11 to the scores found after they received their glasses in order to see if there is an academic benefit to glasses correction on standardized tests scores.


Between January 2011 and December 2013, 14,663 children from the Chicago Public School system visited the IEI at Princeton for eye care.  Children ranged from prekindergarten to seniors in high school with the majority in second through sixth grade. 


When the students are all pooled together, a small but significant positive effect was seen on math scores but no effect on reading scores.  The modeling then divided the students into either elementary or high school. A small, significant negative effect was seen in reading scores for elementary students (-0.017, p=0.03) and significant positive effect on high school students reading scores (0.045, 0.030). Math scores were both positive (elementary students-0.015,p=0.045, high school-0.073,p=0.00).


The results suggest that a small improvement in standardized test scores is seen for both groups of students on math and only a positive improvement in reading were found in high school students.  This initial report does not break down the subject pool by refractive error or previous correction.  In addition, no mechanism was available to ensure the recommended wearing schedule was met. Lastly, special education students were included on the analysis.  Additional data on GPA will be shared.

Learning Areas:

Advocacy for health and health education
Basic medical science applied in public health
Other professions or practice related to public health
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs

Learning Objectives:
Describe which students will be expected to demonstrate improved academic performance when corrected with new spectacles. List potential factors may interfere with determining if there is an improvement in academic performance after receiving glasses to correct refractive errors.

Keyword(s): Vision Care, Children and Adolescents

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the Medical Director for the Vision Clinic that is being discussed. It is a school based program housing that has an agreement to share information with the Chicago Public Schools. I am an optometrist and have been teaching at the optometry school for more than 30 years.
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.