In an effort to assess the accuracy of the Welch Allyn Suresight 14000 handheld autorefractor, one eye of 84 students at Pacific University College of Optometry were refracted with the Suresight, the Canon RK-5 Autorefractor-Keratometer (a stationary device), static retinoscopy, and subjective refraction. The results obtained with the Suresight were then compared to the other methods. When compared to results obtained through subjective refraction, it was observed that the sphere values provided by the Suresight were within 0.50 D in 54.8% of subjects. This percentage remained fairly constant (52.8%), even in subjects with low refractive errors (between+ 1.00 and -1.00), indicating that the percentage of deviation between the two methods is greater in individuals with small amounts of myopia or hyperopia. The cylinder power in subjects with greater than 0. 75 D of cylinder was within 0.50 D in 84% of subjects. Cylinder axis was within 15 degrees in only 58.8% of these individuals. Regression analysis demonstrated that both Canon autorefraction and retinoscopy provided better predictions of subjective refraction (r~0.9) than predictions obtained with Suresight (r2=0.77); although Suresight measures tended to be more accurate for higher refractive errors. Both Canon and Suresight were approximately equal in terms of repeatability. The results indicate that the Welch Allyn Suresight falls slightly short of the Canon RK-5 and retinoscopy in its ability to accurately predict the subjective refraction. However, its portability and ease of use make it a potentially useful tool in practices with a large pediatric and/or disabled patient base.
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