Cerebral visual impairment‐related vision problems in primary school children: a cross‐sectional survey

CVI Prevalence Study Group

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To estimate how many children in mainstream primary schools have cerebral visual impairment (CVI)‐related vision problems and to investigate whether some indicators might be useful as red flags, if they were associated with increased risk for these problems.


We conducted a survey of primary school children aged 5 to 11 years, using whether they were getting extra educational help and/or teacher‐ and parent‐reported behaviour questionnaires to identify children at risk for CVI. These and a random 5% sample were assessed for CVI‐related vision problems. We compared the usefulness of potential red flags using likelihood ratios.


We received questionnaires on 2298 mainstream‐educated children and examined 248 children (152 [61%] males, 96 females [39%]; mean age 8y 1mo, SD 20mo, range 5y 6mo–11y 8mo). We identified 78 out of 248 children (31.5% of those examined, 3.4% of the total sample), who had at least one CVI‐related vision problem. The majority (88%) were identified by one or more red flag but none were strongly predictive. Fewer than one in five children with any CVI‐related vision problem had reduced visual acuity.


Children with CVI‐related vision problems were more prevalent than has been appreciated. Assessment of at‐risk children may be useful so that opportunities to improve outcomes for children with CVI‐related vision problems are not missed.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages7
JournalDevelopmental Medicine and Child Neurology
Early online date3 Feb 2021
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 3 Feb 2021

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