Scottish pre-school vision screening – first 3 years of national data

Lee Pentland, Sirjhun Patel

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    3 Citations (Scopus)
    64 Downloads (Pure)


    Introduction: Pre-school orthoptic vision screening (POVS) was implemented by the Scottish government and is a standardised assessment to promote early detection of visual problems in children. The target conditions are amblyopia, refractive errors and strabismus. We present the preliminary findings for the first three years of the screening program.

    Methods: The data from POVS was collected retrospectively. The data includes screening years 2013 to 2016 inclusive. Data was collected from each health board in Scotland. We report the coverage, referral rate, true positives and positive predictive values.

    Results: A total of 167,962 children were due to have vision screening over the 3 screening years included in this paper. This figure does not include the children that opted out of the eye test (mean opt-out rate 1.8%) and children that already attend the hospital eye service (mean already attend rate 3.1%). The POVS program had a mean coverage of 85.5%, ranging from 63.7% to 94.8% between health boards. Over the 3 year screening period, the mean referral rate was found to be 17.9%. The mean true positive rate was 88.9%, and the mean positive predictive value was 86.9%.

    Conclusion: The Scottish data set on pre-school orthoptic vision screening has shown excellent mean coverage. A consistently high true positive rate over the three screening years demonstrates it is a sensitive screening program, which is essential for the detection of visual problems in children.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)13-18
    Number of pages6
    JournalBritish and Irish Orthoptic Journal
    Issue number1
    Early online date9 Apr 2020
    Publication statusPublished - 2020


    • Amblyopia
    • Orthoptist
    • POVS
    • Pre-school
    • See4School
    • Vision screening

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Optometry
    • Ophthalmology


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