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Results from the first phase of the Vision in Preschoolers (VIP) study were published in the April 2004 issue of the journal Ophthalmology. VIP is a three phase study designed to evaluate the effectiveness of vision screening tests commonly used for preschool-aged children. The study was funded by the National Eye Institute, a part of the National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services.
Many different vision screening tests are used widely. However, none have been compared to each other and to comprehensive eye examinations to determine how accurate the tests are in detecting children with symptoms of common vision disorders. Children with symptoms require a comprehensive eye examination to diagnose and treat their condition.
In Phase I of the VIP study, children were first screened by a licensed eye care professional who was experienced in working with children and who had been trained and certified to administer these vision screening tests. The children were then given a comprehensive eye examination using standardized diagnostic procedures and tests--referred to professionally as a "Gold Standard Eye Examination"--by an optometrist or ophthalmologist who did not know the results of the child's prior screening test. In this way, the study researchers could compare the results from screening tests and comprehensive eye examinations to evaluate the accuracy of the screening tests.
Phases II and III of the VIP study will evaluate screening tools when administered by pediatric nurses and trained lay screeners, providing insight into the effectiveness of vision screening tests in real world settings. Phase II of the VIP study is now underway. The NEI will release new study results when they become available.