Purpose To develop, implement, and evaluate a replicable community-based screening intervention designed to improve glaucoma and other eye disease detection and follow-up care in high-risk populations in the United States. We present the design of the study and describe the findings of the first year of the program. Design Prospective study to evaluate screening and follow-up. Methods This is an ongoing study to develop an eye screening program using trained personnel to identify individuals with ophthalmic needs, focusing on African Americans ≥50 years of age at multiple inner-city community sites in Baltimore, Maryland. The screening examination uses a sequential referral approach and assesses presenting visual acuity (VA), best-corrected VA, digital fundus imaging, visual field testing, and measurement of intraocular pressure. Results We screened 901 individuals between January 2015 and October 2015. Subjects were mostly African Americans (94.9%) with a mean (standard deviation) age of 64.3 (9.9) years. Among them, 356 (39.5%) participants were referred for a definitive eye examination and 107 (11.9%) only needed prescription glasses. The most common reasons for referral were ungradable fundus image (39.3% of those referred), best-corrected VA < 20/40 (14.6%), and ungradable autorefraction (11.8%). Among people referred for definitive examination, 153 (43%) people attended their scheduled examination. The most common diagnoses at the definitive examination were glaucoma and cataract (51% and 40%, respectively). Conclusions A large proportion of individuals screened required ophthalmic services, particularly those who were older and less well educated. To reach and encourage these individuals to attend screenings and follow-up examinations, programs could develop innovative strategies and approaches.
ASJC Scopus subject areas