Aim To compare sphere and cylinder refraction values using retinoscopy and autorefraction under cycloplegic conditions in children.
Methods This cross-sectional study was carried out using multistage cluster sampling. The target population was children aged 6–12 years in Shahroud, a northern city in Iran. Examinations included measurements of visual acuity, subjective refraction and objective refraction. Objective refraction was measured with and without cycloplegia with a retinoscope and an autorefractometer.
Results After applying the exclusion criteria, data from 5053 children were analysed. Spherical refraction results with autorefraction were significantly higher than results with retinoscopy (P<0.001). Refraction overestimation was significant in all age groups (P<0.0001). Comparison of differences in different spherical ametropia subgroups also showed a significant intermethod difference in all refractive states (P<0. 01). Overall, autorefraction tended to over plus hyperopics and under minus myopic cases compared with retinoscopy. The 95% limits of agreement for spherical values measured with the two techniques were −0.35 Diopter (D) to 0.50 D. The values of J0 and J45 vectors with autorefraction were significantly higher than those with retinoscopy (P<0.001). The 95% limits of agreement between the two methods for vectors J0 and J45 were −0.12 D to 0.15 D and −0.10 D to 0.11 D, respectively.
Conclusion Since the observed differences in spherical refraction and the cylindrical components obtained through retinoscopy and autorefraction are statistically significant, but clinically insignificant, and the two methods have a strong correlation and agreement, it can be concluded that autorefraction can be a suitable substitute for retinoscopy in children under cycloplegic conditions.
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Contributors HH and AA drafted the manuscript and contributed in preparation of the study protocol and conceptualised and conducted all statistical analyses and were the primary author of the article. AY and MK contributed in the conceptualisation of the paper and the statistical analyses and critically revised the manuscript. MHE and AF conceived and designed the study and contributed in preparation of the study protocol and contributed in the conceptualisation of the paper and the statistical analyses and critically revised the manuscript.
Funding Shahroud School Children Eye Cohort Study is funded by the Noor Ophthalmology Research Center and Shahroud University of Medical Sciences (project number: 9329).
Competing interests None declared.
Ethics approval The ethics committee of Shahroud University of Medical Sciences, Shahroud, Iran.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
Data sharing statement Any new paper about Shahroud School Children EyeCohort Study is welcome. The researchers can contact MHE by firstname.lastname@example.org.
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