The objective of this program evaluation study was to explore the efficacy, feasibility, and potential for a new school-based vision therapy (VT) program and community partnership between Pacific University College of Optometry and Tom McCall Upper Elementary School. This investigation utilized an explanatory sequential mixed methods design, involving the collection and analysis of both qualitative and quantitative data. The project and its analysis were informed by a transformative worldview.
The program efficacy was defined by pre- and post-VT symptomatology, visual skills, and academic performance. These measures showed stability or improvement following 20 hours of school-based VT over 12 weeks (n=6) with 76.5% participant compliance. Qualitative survey and interview data demonstrated widespread support for the continuation of this program from both program volunteers and the Tom McCall school liaison.
Due to the small sample size (n=6), statistical significance cannot be drawn from these findings. Trends seen in quantitative data, and additional support from qualitative feedback, sufficiently demonstrate enthusiasm for, and potential visual and academic benefit of, continuation of this new school-based VT program. My hope is that this project will provide a strong basis for a continuing partnership between Tom McCall Upper Elementary School and Pacific University College of Optometry to provide school-based vision therapy.
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