Vision screening is an efficient and cost-effective method to identify individuals with visual impairment or eye conditions that are likely to lead to visual impairment. The chair of ophthalmology at the University of Michigan examined a recent report investigating the value of vision screening for older adults with no symptoms.
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) report is published in JAMA
. The findings suggest that current evidence doesn't allow for assessment of clear recommendation supporting the use of visual acuity in screening those 65 years and older who have no symptoms and are not already under eye care.
‘The chair of ophthalmology at the University of Michigan highlighted the strength's of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force's (USPSTF) vision screening recommendations for older adults with no symptoms.’
Paul Lee's accompanying editorial highlights the strengths of the task force's methods while acknowledging some difficulties in carrying out the recommendations of the task force and the possible implications of ongoing change in the care delivery system.
Strengths mentioned in the editorial include:
- The specific description of the population studied - Individuals aged 65 years and older who have not sought care for evaluation of vision problems and who do not have any known symptoms or visual impairments.
- A clear assessment of both the value of treating diseases the screening should detect, like cataracts, while also explicitly reviewing the harms associated with false positives or screening errors.
Difficulties of the USPSTF process include:
- The high degree of rigor makes it challenging to complete the randomized clinical trials with the specific population.
- The time required to conduct appropriate studies might not be able to keep up with changes in current health delivery approaches.