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THE JOURNAL OF SCHOOL AND UNIVERSITY MEDICINE - Volume 7 Issue 4, October - December 2020

Pages: 17-24
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FINAL EXPERTISE AND ATTITUDE TOWARDS VISION SCREENING IN HEALTH CARE PROFESSIONALS ENROLLED IN THE EUSCREEN PROJECT

Author: Oana Teodosescu , Mihai Mara, Cristina Vladutiu, Simona Cainap, Daniela Rajka

Category: Medical

Abstract:

AIMS: The aim of the study is to evaluate the knowledge and attitude towards vision screening in health care professionals enrolled in the EUSCREEN project (”Implementation of optimized childhood vision and hearing screening programmes in middle-income countries in Europe”), after the completion of the project.

METHOD: The analysis involved 44 questionnaires, filled out by doctors and nurses who measured visual acuity in children in the EUSCREEN project between January 1st 2018 and December 31st 2019.

RESULTS: The 44 respondents felt confident (>95%) in their abilities when it comes to the measurement of visual acuity in children.

Among the main reasons why the study did not include a higher number of preschoolers, the participants to the survey stated: lack of parents’ consent (8) or lack of time (2), interest or confidence in the Euscreen project (5); some parents expressed their concern regarding the managing of data confidentiality. Furthermore, some nurses stressed upon the low attendance rate especially in rural kindergartens (4).

The nurses and the doctors felt the supportive materials were helpful in persuading the parents, as well as the teachers' input. Numerous parents did not continue the investigations with an ophthalmological examination, if needed, the main reasons being lack of time, lack of interest in the child's healthcare, lack of financial means or too long waiting lists to ophthalmologists.

In the matter of remuneration of medical staff, 43% (19) consider it should be made in addition to the salary, meanwhile 34% (15) consider the screening activity as a compulsory duty of their job.

70% (31) respondents claim they will continue the screening activity as they understand it's importance. 50% (22) feel there should be a periodic (once every 12, 24 or 36 months) update of their theoretical notions and practical skills.

DISCUSSION: The respondents consider that a better communication with the parents would have led to a better participation rate and to a better rate of ophthalmological results. Also, when the children are examined in the kindergarten the nurses would prefer the teachers helped by assisting the children. The payment of the medical personnel involved in the screening was preferred by the respondents, as it was considered extra work by the family doctors nurses and by some of the kindergarten nurses. The medical staff feels confident in their measuring technique, only half of them considering that an update would be necessary.

CONCLUSIONS: The EUSCREEN project updated the theoretical notions and practical abilities of the medical staff and made them aware of the importance of early detection of vision problems in children.

Their answers provide essential directions that a national screening programme should take into account: better communication with the parents; better access to speciality examinations when needed; better coverage in the rural areas, especially in the remote areas; proper reimbursement for the medical staff.

Keywords: visual acuity screening, amblyopia, feedback, final survey

DOI: 10.51546/JSUM.2020.7402

DOI URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.51546/JSUM.2020.7402

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