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RESEARCH STUDY

RESEARCH

Parent, Teacher, and Student Perspectives on How Corrective Lenses Improve Child Wellbeing and School Function

AUTHOR:

Rebecca N. Dudovitz, Nilufar Izadpanah, Paul J. Chung & Wendelin Slusser

SPONSOR/INSTITUTION:

Vision To Learn and the UCLA Children’s Discovery and Innovation Institute, and NIH/National Center for Advancing Translational Science

YEAR PUBLISHED:

2016

PUBLICATION:

Maternal and Child Health Journal

KEY HIGHLIGHTS:

  • The objective of this study was exploring how children with correctable visual deficits, their parents, and teachers perceive the connection between vision care and school function.

  • A qualitative evaluation of Vision to Learn (VTL) program was conducted. Vision to Learn is a school-based program providing free corrective lenses to low-income students in Los Angeles.

  • Twenty parents, 25 teachers, and 21 students from three elementary schools served by VTL participated to explore the relationships between poor vision, receipt of corrective lenses, and school performance and health.

  • Participants described how uncorrected visual deficits reduced students’ focus, perseverance, and class participation, affecting academic functioning and psychosocial stress; how receiving corrective lenses improved classroom attention, task persistence, and willingness to practice academic skills; and how serving students in school rather than in clinics increased both access to and use of corrective lenses.

  • The study concluded that corrective lenses may positively impact families, teachers, and students coping with visual deficits by improving school function and psychosocial wellbeing. Practices that increase ownership and use of glasses, such as serving students in school, may significantly improve both child health and academic performance.