Scope and costs of autorefraction and photoscreening for childhood amblyopia—a systematic narrative review in relation to the EUSCREEN project data
Background: Amblyopia screening can target reduced visual acuity (VA), its refractive risk factors, or both. VA testing is imprecise under 4 years of age, so automated risk-factor photoscreening appears an attractive option. This review considers photoscreening used in community services, focusing on costs, cost-effectiveness and scope of use, compared with EUSCREEN project Country Reports describing how photo- and automated screening is used internationally. Methods: A systematic narrative review was carried out of all English language photoscreening literature to September 10th 2018, using publicly available search terms. Where costs were considered, a CASP economic evaluation checklist was used to assess data quality. Results: Of 370 abstracts reviewed, 55 reported large-scale community photoscreening projects. Five addressed cost-effectiveness specifically, without original data. Photoscreening was a stand-alone, single, test event in 71% of projects. In contrast, 25 of 45 EUSCREEN Country Reports showed that if adopted, photoscreening often supplements other tests in established programmes and is rarely used as a stand-alone test. Reported costs varied widely and evidence of cost-effectiveness was sparse in the literature, or in international practice. Only eight (13%) papers compared the diagnostic accuracy or cost-effectiveness of photoscreening and VA testing, and when they did, cost-effectiveness of photoscreening compared unfavourably. Discussion: Evidence that photoscreening reduces amblyopia or strabismus prevalence or improves overall outcomes is weak, as is evidence of cost-effectiveness, compared to later VA screening. Currently, the most cost-effective option seems to be a later, expert VA screening with the opportunity for a re-test before referral.
|Organisation||Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam|
Horwood, A.M, Griffiths, H.J. (Helen J.), Carlton, J, Mazzone, P. (Paolo), Channa, A. (Arinder), Nordmann, M. (Mandy), & Simonsz, H.J. (2020). Scope and costs of autorefraction and photoscreening for childhood amblyopia—a systematic narrative review in relation to the EUSCREEN project data. Eye. doi:10.1038/s41433-020-01261-8