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October 1993

Examination Methods for Glaucoma Prevalence Surveys

Author Affiliations

From the Dana Center for Preventive Ophthalmology and the Glaucoma Service, Wilmer Institute, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Md (Drs Quigley, West, and Glovinsky and Ms Munoz); and Central Eye Health Foundation, Dodoma, Tanzania, and Helen Keller International, New York, NY (Dr Mmbaga).

Arch Ophthalmol. 1993;111(10):1409-1415. doi:10.1001/archopht.1993.01090100117038

Objective:  To perform a pilot evaluation of new examination methods for the detection of glaucoma and other causes of visual impairment in rural East Africa.

Design:  Testing was performed by local eye nurses after a brief training course. Two novel tests of visual function were used, a scotopic sensitivity test and a visual field test performed on a laptop computer. The optic disc was examined with direct ophthalmoscopy after pupillary dilation and compared with standard photographs on a laminated card. Intraocular pressure was measured with a hand-held, electronic tonometer.

Setting:  Rural Tanzania.

Participants:  One hundred twenty adult villagers.

Results:  The visual function tests could be performed on more than 90% of subjects, and the results were correlated with the size of the optic disc cup, an objective measure of glaucoma injury.

Conclusions:  This survey shows the practicality of instrumentbased testing of visual function under field conditions.