Neighbourhood Disadvantage and Vision Screening Failure Rates: Analysis of a School-Based Vision Program in Baltimore, Maryland

Hursuong Vongsachang, Xinxing Guo, David S. Friedman, Gayane Yenokyan, Megan E. Collins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: To investigate the relationship between neighbourhood disadvantage and vision screening failure rates. Methods: This analysis uses aggregate data from pre-kindergarten to eighth grade schools participating in a school-based vision programme in Baltimore, Maryland, from 2016 to 2019. Data on number of students screened and number of students who failed vision screening per grade level were recorded for each school. The Area Deprivation Index (ADI) was obtained for each school using the school’s ZIP+4 code. The association between vision screening failure rates by grade and school ADI was analysed using negative binomial regression models, adjusted for grade level and accounting for clustering by school. Results: Nine hundred seventy-two grades across 117 schools were included in this analysis. Median national ADI percentile across the sample was 71 [interquartile range (IQR): 48–85] (100 = most deprived). The median grade-level screening failure rate across the entire sample was 33% [IQR: 26–41%]. School ADI was not associated with vision screening failure rate (incidence rate ratio (IRR) = 1.01 per 10 percentage point increase in ADI, 95% CI: 0.99, 1.03, p = 0.217). Conclusions: In this study, there was no association between vision screening failure rates and school ADI. With one in three students failing screening in a high poverty public school district, these findings suggest a high need for vision services across schools in all neighbourhoods. Future work should investigate the impact of students’ home ADI and socioeconomic status on vision screening outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)441-444
Number of pages4
JournalOphthalmic Epidemiology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2023


  • Neighbourhood disadvantage
  • paediatric vision screening
  • school-based vision care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Epidemiology


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