Preschool vision screening using the MTI-Photoscreener

Pediatr Nurs. Jan-Feb 2001;27(1):27-34.


Amblyopia is a condition that, if detected and treated early, can improve vision for most children. Thus, both pediatric and ophthalmologic groups have acknowledged the need for preschool vision screening. However, vision screening is the exception rather than the rule for preschoolers, since traditional methods of vision screening are often inappropriate for the preschool population and almost impossible for those children who are preverbal or nonverbal, developmentally delayed, and/or have chronic illnesses or disabilities. This study evaluated the use of a photoscreener to detect vision problems in a preschool population. Fifty-one children ages 3 to 5 years were evaluated using the MTI Photoscreener. Results were compared with a complete ophthalmologic examination, including cycloplegia. The sensitivity and specificity calculated for this study was 83% and 68%, respectively. Findings conclude that the MTI Photoscreener detected a broad range of vision problems, seemed to require less time, and seemed more acceptable to preschoolers when compared with the traditional vision screening methods performed by registered nurses. Although the sensitivity and specificity rates for this study were less than desired, it is likely that both could be improved with additional photo interpretation training.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Photography
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Vision Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Vision Screening / instrumentation*