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Thesis

A descriptive study of International Special Olympic athletes' vision care needs

1 May 1994

Abstract

Three hundred-seventy International Special Olympics participants and 115 staff members representing 39 countries participated . in a vision screening conducted by 32 members of the ' American Optometric Association's Sports . Vision and/or Low Vision Sections during the 1991 International. Special Olympics, held in Minneapolis/St. Paul. The. program also included emergency eyecare services and educational· benefits relating to the role of vision in athletic and life performance. An age-matched population of normal nonathlete students were · compared on several measures of visual sensitivity and visual-motor performance. Results of the program substantiated the findings of the 1984-86 Oregon · State Special Olympics vision care program. An unmet need for comprehensive eyecare exists within the International Special Olympics population. Areas of greatest concern include the large number of competitors' never having received vision care, nearly 113 of' the athletes participate with uncompensated or. residual refractive error, and the increased risk of ocular trauma resulting from lack of · eye protection requirements


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