Masters Thesis

A comparative analysis of ocular screening processes

A comparative analysis was performed on nine countries based on the Health Care Models their health care operates under in order to determine if there were any best practices regarding the diagnosis and treatment of amblyopia. Amblyopia is an eye condition, that if not detected and treated in childhood, can cause a person to have a permanent loss of vision. The method used to conduct this study was based on Hermeneutics. Hermeneutics is a method or a principle of interruption as well as the study of methodological principles (Hermeneutic, n.d.). The purpose of the Hermeneutic approach is to collect information using qualitative methods (Montesperelli, 1998). The study revealed that while amblyopia is recognized as a world-wide disease, some countries appear to have better ways of diagnosing and treating the disease than others and that the amount of health care spending per year was not a factor in the diagnosis and treatment of this disease. Japan was found to have the lowest rates of amblyopia, but was the country that ranked lower on the list of health care spending than five other countries studied. Meaning that the five other countries in the study that spend more more per year, per person for health care, all have higher diagnosis rates of amblyopia than Japan. Japan is the only country in this study that was found to require visual examinations to be performed by trained eye care professionals for children prior to entering primary school. Japan is also the only country that has a plan in place to seek further eye care if a vision problem is noticed at the child’s first vision examination. One best practice was found to be the use of Levodopa, an oral medication that is prescribed in both Japan and China to be used in conjunction with occlusion therapy and/or spectacle therapy for amblyopia. The use of Levodopa was found to increase the vision in an amblyopic eye up to two lines when using Levodopa with other treatments. Another best practice discovered was the eye examination requirements for children before entering school in Japan. Another finding discovered in this study was that while the United States of America has the highest per capita spending in health care, it falls short regarding the diagnosis and treatment of amblyopia. Health care professionals and school personnel should be better educated about the signs and symptoms of vision problems in children as well as learn the proper way to perform a vision test on children and ensure the they understand the importance of why and how these vision problems should be addressed once detected.

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