Comparative Study
Journal Article
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
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Testability of a color vision screening test in a population with mental retardation.

PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to determine the testability of the "Co or Vision Testing Made Easy" color vision test, marketed as a screening test for young children, in a population of individuals with mental retardation. The test uses simple geometric figures that are easily identified. Previously, the test has demonstrated validity as a measure of color deficiency.

METHODS: The test was presented to Special Olympic athletes, who are individuals with mental retardation or significant developmental delay, at four sites: the 1997 World Winter Games in Toronto, Canada; the Texas Summer Games in Houston, Texas; the Massachusetts Summer Games in Boston, Massachusetts; and Regional European Swim Competition in Seville, Spain. The criteria for passing was 8 correct responses on the first trial or 9 of 9 on the second attempt.

RESULTS: Testability in Toronto, Canada; Houston, Texas; and Seville, Spain was high--95.5%, 98.7%, and 95.7%, respectively. Testability, however, dropped to 78.8% during the Boston, Massachusetts screening. There was no apparent difference in the testing environment that would account for the difference. The overall rate of testability was 93.2% for the 1078 athletes screened. The frequency of males identified as color deficient was similar to that expected in the general population; only two females (in Spain) failed the color vision screening.

CONCLUSIONS: The "Color Vision Testing Made Easy" color vision test was successfully completed by a very high percentage of Special Olympics athletes. These results suggest that this test is useful in screening this population for color deficiencies, and that the prevalence of color vision deficiencies is approximately the same in individuals with mental retardation as in the general population.

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