A lecture presented by Dr. Afua Oteng Asare, Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences at the University of Utah in the United States.
Dr. Afua Oteng Asare is a Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences at the University of Utah in the United States. She has training in optometry (OD, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Kumasi Ghana), public health (MPH, Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health), vision science (MSc, University of Waterloo) and health services research (PhD, University of Toronto). Her research focuses on facilitating the early identification of amblyopia and uncorrected refractive errors in children through the implementation and evaluation of evidence-based health interventions. She has received awards such as The Ross C. Purse Doctoral Fellowship (2018, Canadian National Institute of the Blind and two Ezell Fellowship (2019 & 2020, American Academy of Optometry Foundation). She is currently a member of the Focus on Myopia: Pathogenesis and Rising Incidence committee in the National Academy of Science, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM), and the Advisory Committee of the National Center for Children’s Vision and Eye Health. She is also co-secretary of the Children’s Vision Equity Alliance. She lives in Salt Lake City, Utah with her husband and two kids and enjoys hiking and playing the piano.
One in five children have vision impairment that may lead to permanent vision loss if not treated at an early age. Vision impairment may be asymptomatic, therefore early vision screening is vital. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends vision screening for children 3 to 5 years and referrals to eye care providers . Even though 92% of Utah children under 6 years attend well-child visits, only 31% get vision screening in pediatric primary care. Patient, provider and system factors that influence access to vision care remain poorly understood. A critical need is to understand these factors to improve access to care. Failure to improve access to vision care will perpetuate poor vision health outcomes in children. Digital health interventions are making strides in pediatric preventive care and have been used successfully to address barriers to vision care. The objectives of this talk are to describe: 1) vision screening practices in pediatric primary care clinics in the United States with a specific focus on Utah, 2) the factors that influence access to vision care and vision-related outcomes in pediatric primary care, and 3) digital health interventions that mitigate barriers to accessing vision care in pediatric primary care