DOI: 10.4103/sjopt.sjopt_246_23 ISSN: 1319-4534

Amblyogenic risk factors and validity of vision screening using spot-screener among kindergarten children in Qassim region, Saudi Arabia

Dora H. AlHarkan
  • Ophthalmology



The purpose of the study was to present the outcomes of vision and amblyogenic risk factor (ARF) screening in kindergarten children in the Qassim region, Saudi Arabia.


In this cross-sectional study, an optometrist conducted first-level screening in a kindergarten using a spot screener (Welch Allyn) in 2023. Refractive status and ocular alignment were evaluated. The visual acuity of each eye was measured. Those who failed the first screening or had impaired vision were re-evaluated at the second level of screening by an optometrist and pediatric ophthalmologist. Those who failed the screening in Kindergarten were referred to a pediatric ophthalmology clinic for confirmation and management (third level of screening).


We screened 222 children (mean age: 5.9 ± 0.4 years, 111 boys). A total of 59 (26.6%) children failed the spot vision screening test. A vision screening test by an optometrist identified 58 (26.1%) children with impaired vision. Refractive errors (REs) for children who failed the spot screener included hyperopia in 4 (6.7%) children, high myopia (>6.00 D) in 2 (3.4%) children, and astigmatism in 53 (89.83%) children. Compared to the evaluation by optometrists and pediatric ophthalmologists at KGs, spot screening had 0.845 sensitivity and 0.939 specificity. Validity parameters differed for RE, vision impairment, amblyopia, and strabismus. Seventy-one (31.98%) children were referred for third-level screening, but only 32 (44.4%) children attended, and among them, the prevalence of amblyopia was 25%.


The high prevalence of amblyopia and undetected ARFs necessitate establishing annual vision screening among 3- to 5-year-old children in the study area.

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