The Spaeth/Richman contrast sensitivity test (SPARCS): design, reproducibility and ability to identify patients with glaucoma

Br J Ophthalmol. 2015 Jan;99(1):16-20. doi: 10.1136/bjophthalmol-2014-305223. Epub 2014 Jul 22.


Aims: (1) To determine the ability of a novel, internet-based contrast sensitivity test titled the Spaeth/Richman Contrast Sensitivity Test (SPARCS) to identify patients with glaucoma. (2) To determine the test-retest reliability of SPARCS.

Methods: A prospective, cross-sectional study of patients with glaucoma and controls was performed. Subjects were assessed by SPARCS and the Pelli-Robson chart. Reliability of each test was assessed by the intraclass correlation coefficient and the coefficient of repeatability. Sensitivity and specificity for identifying glaucoma was also evaluated.

Results: The intraclass correlation coefficient for SPARCS was 0.97 and 0.98 for Pelli-Robson. The coefficient of repeatability for SPARCS was ±6.7% and ±6.4% for Pelli-Robson. SPARCS identified patients with glaucoma with 79% sensitivity and 93% specificity.

Conclusions: SPARCS has high test-retest reliability. It is easily accessible via the internet and identifies patients with glaucoma well.

Trial registration: NCT01300949.

Keywords: Diagnostic tests/Investigation; Glaucoma.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Contrast Sensitivity / physiology*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Glaucoma / diagnosis*
  • Humans
  • Internet
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Ocular Hypertension / diagnosis
  • Prospective Studies
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Research Design
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Vision Tests / methods*
  • Young Adult

Associated data