Meghrigian Institute Researchers Publish on Uncorrected Refractive Error

Researchers of Garo Meghrigian Institute for Preventive Ophthalmology (Meghrigian Institute) of the Turpanjian School of Public Health (SPH), American University of Armenia (AUA), published an article titled “Prevalence and Determinants of Uncorrected Refractive Error Among a Socially Vulnerable Older Adult Population Living in Armenia” in the journal Public Health, an international, multidisciplinary, peer-reviewed journal that focuses on all aspects of the science, philosophy, and practice of public health.

The study, authored by Aida Giloyan (MPH ’07), Vahe Khachadourian, MD, PhD, (MPH ‘11), Varduhi Petrosyan, MS, PhD, dean of SPH AUA, and Tsovinar Harutyunyan, PhD, (MPH ‘99)  estimated the prevalence of uncorrected refractive error (URE) and its determinants among socially vulnerable older adults living in Armenia. The study found that the prevalence of URE was 26% among the study population, which was higher than estimates from similar European studies. The rate of normal vision improved from 58.9% to 81.5%, while the rate of visual impairment decreased from 41.1% to 18.5% after best correction of the better eye. The prevalence of URE was found to be high in this study population.

Eye screenings and provision of affordable spectacle correction to the socially vulnerable older population in Armenia could eliminate visual impairment due to URE. Health education programs to increase awareness of URE among the target population, especially those with lower educational levels, might also reduce the prevalence of URE in the population.

The AUA Turpanjian School of Public Health works actively to improve population health and health services in Armenia and the region through interdisciplinary education and development of public health professionals to be leaders in public health, health services research and evaluation, and health care delivery and management.