Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Effectiveness of computerized oculomotor vision screening in a military population: Pilot study

Effectiveness of computerized oculomotor vision screening in a military population: Pilot study

The prevalence of oculomotor dysfunctions associated with blast-induced mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) in warfighters has increased as a consequence of recent conflicts. This study evaluated the effectiveness of computerized oculomotor vision screening (COVS) in a military population. Oculomotor functions were assessed with COVS and by conventional methods in 20 U.S. military personnel with and 20 without mTBI. ....... The results showed that COVS had high sensitivity and specificity for screening near oculomotor functions. Overall, the COVS showed excellent validity and repeatability for assessing near lateral and vertical phorias, Worth 4 Dot, and fixation, as well as pursuit and saccadic eye movements. Despite the strong Pearson correlation, the Bland-Altman analysis identified minor to moderate discrepancies for both positive and negative fusional vergence and their associated recovery as well as for the monocular accommodative facility measurements. This study demonstrated that non-eye-care professionals may be able to use the COVS as a tool to efficiently screen oculomotor functions in a military population with or without mTBI.....

Comments: I am somewhat biased about this study for 5 reasons:

1.) The computer program used is from HTS (Home Therapy Solutions)
2.) Home Therapy Solutions is run by a fellow by the name of Rod Bortel. Rod has been very supportive of optometry and is most generous when we would like to use his products for research purposes.
3.) Many of optometry's finest have worked with Rod to create incredible tools to improve the life of our patients.
4.) I use most of his products in my private office and at the Illinois Eye Institute/Illinois College of Optometry.
5.) He and HTS are supporting a research project by myself, my colleagues and my students that is currently underway.

Having a screening tool that is valid and repeatable is invaluable. It is my hope that more of my colleagues will use this tool to determine the presence of functional or developmental vision problems and then to either further investigate these areas or refer to those of us with expertise in  functional and developmental optometry.

My thanks to Rod and his supportive staff for all they do. DM

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