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Prevalence of refractive error and access to eye care for New Zealand children

36 months
Approved budget:
Dr Rebecca Findlay
Dr Joanna Black
Assistant Professor Claudia Rivera-Rodriguez
Miss Amelia Hardcastle
Dr Jason Turuwhenua
Dr Nicola McDowell
Health issue:
Proposal type:
Health Delivery Emerging Researcher First Grant
Lay summary
Uncorrected vision conditions in childhood have been linked to poorer early literacy, reduced self-esteem, increased rates of being bullied, and disengagement with education. Therefore, early detection and correction of vision problems is imperative to ensure children can thrive. Refractive error (need for glasses) is the leading cause of visual impairment in children. This project aims to determine refractive error prevalence for New Zealand children aged 7 years. Additionally, this research aims to determine barriers to access for primary eye care; and associations between refractive error and measures of reading ability and social-emotional learning in New Zealand children. Achieving these goals will enable development of vision screening protocols and primary eye care models aimed at reducing inequities by ensuring that common vision conditions in children are detected through vision screening and appropriate treatment pathways are available and accessible, setting up all children for success at school.