Purpose: To evaluate the performance of Plusoptix A09 in detecting ametropia, warranted against frequently-used technique of retinoscopy in children attending school (5-15 years) and its probability as a screening tool. Methods: This study was the subset of a larger epidemiological study visual acuity refractive error squint conducted in schools to determine the prevalence of ocular morbidity among the 5-15 years' school children population. Every 7thstudent in the class (each school had mean value of 100 students) was randomly selected for this study after ascertaining their eligibility as per the inclusion criteria. A cohort of a total of 150 children within the age group of 5-15 (mean, 10.21 ± 2.83) years were recruited from 11 schools of Udupi district. Students with best corrected visual acuity of 20/20, refractive error within ±5.00 diopter (D), without any eccentric fixation, and no history of ocular pathology or seizures were recruited. Refractive error was tested by Plusoptix photorefractor followed by non-cycloplegic and cycloplegic retinoscopic techniques. The examiners performing these tests were masked and unware of the findings. Bland Altman plotted the agreement between the techniques, followed by the receiver operating characteristic curve (ROC), and sensitivity of Plusoptix. Results: One-way analysis of variance calculated statistical differences among Plusoptix, objective retinoscopy, and cycloplegic retinoscopy for mean spherical value (1.12 ± 1.16 D, 0.65 ± 0.69 D, and 0.8 ± 0.82 D), cylindrical value (-0.83 D ± 1.27, -0.32 D ± 0.86, and -0.34 D ± -0.93), and spherical equivalent value (0.71 D ± 1.06, 0.45 D ± 0.7, and 0.61 D ± 0.81), with P = 0.0001, 0.0001, and 0.097, respectively. Bland Altman plots showed good agreement for spherical equivalent values of Plusoptix and objective retinoscopy. However, the area under the ROC curve (0.386) suggests that lower diagnostic ability of this device in this age group population in comparison to retinoscopy (0.575) with the sensitivity and specificity of Plusoptix was 69.2% and 84.8%. Conclusions: This study fails to report ideal sensitivity mandated for a screening tool, although good specificity and agreement are observed. Along with retinoscopy, this tool will be effective in screening a children's population aged between the age group of 5 and 15 years.
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