A visual profile of Queensland Indigenous children

Hopkins, Shelley, Sampson, Geoff, Hendicott, Peter Leslie, & Wood, Joanne M. (2016) A visual profile of Queensland Indigenous children. Optometry and Vision Science, 93(3), pp. 251-258.

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Little is known about the prevalence of refractive error, binocular vision, and other visual conditions in Australian Indigenous children. This is important given the association of these visual conditions with reduced reading performance in the wider population, which may also contribute to the suboptimal reading performance reported in this population. The aim of this study was to develop a visual profile of Queensland Indigenous children.


Vision testing was performed on 595 primary schoolchildren in Queensland, Australia. Vision parameters measured included visual acuity, refractive error, color vision, nearpoint of convergence, horizontal heterophoria, fusional vergence range, accommodative facility, AC/A ratio, visual motor integration, and rapid automatized naming. Near heterophoria, nearpoint of convergence, and near fusional vergence range were used to classify convergence insufficiency (CI).


Although refractive error (Indigenous, 10%; non-Indigenous, 16%; p = 0.04) and strabismus (Indigenous, 0%; non-Indigenous, 3%; p = 0.03) were significantly less common in Indigenous children, CI was twice as prevalent (Indigenous, 10%; non-Indigenous, 5%; p = 0.04). Reduced visual information processing skills were more common in Indigenous children (reduced visual motor integration [Indigenous, 28%; non-Indigenous, 16%; p < 0.01] and slower rapid automatized naming [Indigenous, 67%; non-Indigenous, 59%; p = 0.04]). The prevalence of visual impairment (reduced visual acuity) and color vision deficiency was similar between groups.


Indigenous children have less refractive error and strabismus than their non-Indigenous peers. However, CI and reduced visual information processing skills were more common in this group. Given that vision screenings primarily target visual acuity assessment and strabismus detection, this is an important finding as many Indigenous children with CI and reduced visual information processing may be missed. Emphasis should be placed on identifying children with CI and reduced visual information processing given the potential effect of these conditions on school performance

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ID Code: 90989
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Australian Indigenous children; school children; refractive error; binocular vision; visual information processing; visual impairment
DOI: 10.1097/OPX.0000000000000797
ISSN: 1538-9235
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Optometry & Vision Science
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2015 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins
Copyright Statement: This is a non-final version of an article published in final form in (provide complete journal citation)
Deposited On: 03 Dec 2015 23:46
Last Modified: 16 May 2016 16:21

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