BPSU - British Childhood Visual Impairment and Blindness Study ≤18 years of age in the UK (excluding Republic of Ireland)

Surveillance of Childhood Visual Impairment and Blindness in the UK (excluding Republic of Ireland) ≤18 years of age is due to commence in October 2015. It is hoped that the findings from this study will inform planning of prevention and treatment strategies and targeting of screening; ‘map’ clinical and public health services involved in detection and management thereby informing the commissioning and delivery of NHS services; and present an evidence base on the sociodemographic variations in childhood visual disability to inform national public health policies.

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Lead investigator

Professor Jugnoo Rahi,
Population, Policy and Practice Programme,
UCL Institute of Child Health,
30 Guilford Street,
London WC1N 1EH

Email: j.rahi@ucl.ac.uk

Overview

Most children living in the UK with visual impairment or blindness are likely to be affected from birth or infancy and will experience a significant lifelong impact on their development, education, social and emotional wellbeing. Surveillance of Childhood Visual Impairment and Blindness in the UK (BCVIS2) will determine the incidence, causes, mode/context of detection, associated factors, management and short-term health and social outcomes of all-cause childhood visual disability. All children aged ≤18 years diagnosed during a 1 year period as being severely visually impaired or blind will be identified through their clinicians using national active surveillance independently but concurrently through the British Paediatric Surveillance Unit and the British Ophthalmological Surveillance Unit (BOSU). There will be simultaneous identification of those children with visual impairment (i.e. less severe impairment) through BOSU as these children are unlikely to seen by a paediatrician.  The merged dataset will then encompass the full spectrum of visual disability.

It is hoped that the findings from this study will inform planning of prevention and treatment strategies and targeting of screening; ‘map’ clinical and public health services involved in detection and management thereby informing the commissioning and delivery of NHS services; and present an evidence base on the sociodemographic variations in childhood visual disability to inform national public health policies.

Case defintion: Please report any child or young person  (aged ≤18 years) newly diagnosed as being severely visually impaired or blind (SVI/BL) due to any disorder in the UK (excluding Republic of Ireland)

This includes any child / young person:

  • with corrected distance acuity worse than 6/60 Snellen or LogMAR 1.0 in the better eye OR
  • is eligible for certification to the national registers of sight impairment OR
  • with clinical features consistent with SVI/BL OR
  • assessed as having special educational needs due to SVI/BL.

Duration

October 2015 to October 2016 (13 months of surveillance). Follow-up until October 2017 (12 month follow-up).

Funding

Fight for Sight, 9-13 Fenchurch Buildings, Fenchurch Street, London EC3M 5HR

Ethical approval

This study has been approved by NRES Committee –  London – Bloomsbury (REC reference: 14/LO/1809; IRAS project ID: 161997) and has been granted Section 251 HRA-CAG permission (CAG Reference: 14/CAG/1028).

Support group

Further information

Partners

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