Objective: To evaluate the reliability of a new visual acuity testing protocol for children using isolated surrounded HOTV optotypes. Methods: After initial pilot testing and modification, the protocol was evaluated using the Baylor-Video Acuity Tester (BVAT) to present isolated surrounded HOTV optotypes. At 6 sites, the protocol was evaluated for testability in 178 children aged 2 to 7 years and for reliability in a subset of 88 children. Twenty-eight percent of the 178 children were classified as having amblyopia. Results: Using the modified protocol, testability ranged from 24% in 2-year-olds to 96% in 5- to 7-year-olds. Test-retest reliability was high (r=0.82), with 93% of retest scores within 0.1 logMAR unit of the initial test score. The 95% confidence interval for an acuity score was calculated to be the score ±0.125 logMAR unit. For a change between 2 acuity scores, the 95% confidence interval was the difference ±0.18 logMAR unit. Conclusions: The visual acuity protocol had a high level of testability in 3- to 7-year-olds and excellent test-retest reliability. The protocol has been incorporated into the multicenter Amblyopia Treatment Study and has wide potential application for standardizing visual acuity testing in children.
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