Efficacy of the B4 School Vision Check in Children with Socioeconomic Disadvantage

Preschool children in NZ receive vision screening at 4 years old as part of the B4 School Check (B4SC). However, people from disadvantaged backgrounds often find it more difficult to access healthcare services.  We examined a group of children enrolled in the Welcome-to-School study who were primarily of NZ Māori and Pacific ethnicities from an area with known socioeconomic disadvantage to determine their visual outcomes.

The B4SC vision screening was effective at identifying children in this group at risk of developing a “lazy” eye but poor at detecting other eye problems such as need for glasses that may affect ability to learn to read and achieve academically at school.  The overall effectiveness of the B4SC may be limited in this group by significant numbers (>10%) who do not receive the screening.

Author: Rebecca Findlay

Contact: r.findlay@auckland.ac.nz

Collaborators: Dr Joanna Black, AP Nicola Anstice, Dr Alison Leversha, Alison Burge

Funding details: Cure Kids A+ Trust and Joyce Fisher Foundation

Status: Funded and running