Children are more likely to exhibit compliance in wearing their glasses if they are aware of their need for visual improvement, parents are educated on necessity of full-time wear, and schools assist parents in reinforcing compliant behaviors, according to research published in the Journal of the American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus.
Researchers included the parents of 164 preschool children (age range 3-5 years) from 51 schools in economically disadvantaged neighborhoods in the analysis. All participants had previously failed a vision screening and were diagnosed with refractive error. The team performed eye examinations on all children and dispensed 2 pairs of glasses to each participant. Participants received a follow-up phone call within 4 weeks of receiving the glasses and at 2 and 4 months to assess eyeglass wear compliance.
Overall, poorer uncorrected visual acuity resulted in greater compliance. A total of 64% of parents reported that their children were compliant both at home and at school, 21% stated they were only compliant in 1 setting, and the remaining 16% reported their children were neither compliant at home nor at school.
A total of 6 themes affecting compliance were identified. These included an awareness of the need for visual improvement, consistently working with parents to ensure compliance, collaboration between home and the school, ensuring children were comfortable with the eyewear, providing 2 functional pairs of glasses, and the coordination of care offered by the See Well to Learn (SWTL) staff who oversaw the program.
“School-based vision programs (SBVP) increase access to care and offer a direct solution to uncorrected refractive errors in children of underserved communities by providing spectacles and examinations; however, program success depends on eyewear utilization,” according to the investigators. “Understanding factors associated with eyeglass compliance could help ensure vision programs correct visual impairments, with the potential to narrow gaps in academic success.”
Study limitations include the potential for geographical bias, unsuccessful phone calls, and the use of note-taking to obtain study data as opposed to complete phone call transcripts.
Perez S, Sabharwal S, Nakayoshi A, de Alba Campomanes AG. Parental perspectives on factors influencing eyeglass wear compliance in preschoolers from low-income families in San Francisco. J AAPOS. Published online July 14, 2022. doi:10.1016/j.jaapos.2022.05.004