Children and their eyes

Early developing literacy skills are an indicator of future educational achievement; we are assessing the impact of poor vision on children’s developing literacy skills. 


Aims: This project aims to explore with parents and carers how they access children’s eye care and their thoughts about their children wearing glasses.  



  • Vision screening data has been linked to epidemiological literacy data for 2000 children and found an association between poor vision and low literacy scores on school entry (age 4-5 years; paper published).
  • A subgroup of 800 children from the original 2000 in this study have been followed up for three years to explore the long term impact of poor vision on literacy; analysis is underway.
  • Interviews with parents/carers and professionals regarding attendance and compliance to the treatment of children’s eye conditions have been conducted.  Initial analysis suggests a key barrier was parent’s lack of acceptance of their child’s need for glasses. 
  • Dr Alison Bruce has been awarded The Royal Society of Medicine “Squint Forum Prize 2016” for this research.

Plans: A number of interventions to improve adherence to treatment are being considered including provision of glasses in the school classroom. 

Visual outcomes for children: predicting uptake of eye services in a deprived multi-ethnic population
Contact | Dr Alison Bruce |


  • Alison Bruce, Lesley Fairley, Bette Chambers, John Wright, Trevor Sheldon.  The Impact of Visual Acuity on Developing Literacy at age 4-5 years: a cohort nested cross sectional study.  BMJ Open.  Feb 2016
  • Alison Bruce, Gillian Santorelli.  Prevalence and risk factors of Stabismus in a UK multi-ethnic Birth cohort. Strabismus 2016 Dec;24(4):153-160