This application proposes a training plan to develop Dawn K. DeCarlo, O.D., M.S. into an independent patient-oriented researcher specializing in research on the rehabilitation of pediatric patients with low vision. Dr. DeCarlo is a licensed optometrist with subspecialty training in vision rehabilitation and prior research experience in rehabilitation of adults with acquired vision loss. This training program will consist of mentored research, advanced coursework leading to a Masters of Science in Public Health in Epidemiology, and multi- disciplinary didactics including courses in developmental psychology. The mentorship committee will be composed of DAB faculty members Dr. Cynthia Owsley (chair), Professor of Ophthalmology, and Director of the NEI-funded Clinical Research Unit (R21-EY14071), and Dr. Gerald McGwin, Associate Professor of Epidemiology &International Health and Ophthalmology and Director of Epidemiology and Biostatistical Services in the Clinical Research Unit. Dr. Susana Chung (University of Houston), Dr. Jan Wallander (Sociometrics Corporation), and Dr. Jane Gwiazda (New England College of Optometry) will also serve as committee members, providing research mentorship on reading in low vision, pediatric quality of life measurement, and visual development in children including accommodation and pediatric clinical trials, respectively. This research will be conducted using the patient populations available through the UAB Center for Low Vision Rehabilitation, the Alabama Institute for Deaf and Blind and the Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus Service of the UAB Department of Ophthalmology. Pediatric low vision is a relatively low incidence condition, however it is a significant public health issue due to the number of life- years affected when the problem begins in infancy. The current research literature shows that the area of pediatric vision impairment, especially as it pertains the to a key instrumental activity of daily living - reading - is considerably understudied. Research project specific aims will address (1) how optometrists and ophthalmologists in the U.S. care for the near vision (as it relates to reading) of children with vision impairment who have sufficient vision and cognitive abilities to read (2) accommodative ability in visually impaired children, (3) establishing the psychometric properties of a commonly used reading test (MNRead test) in children, and (4) the measurement of quality of life in children with vision impairment.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Eye Institute (NEI)
Mentored Patient-Oriented Research Career Development Award (K23)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZEY1-VSN (01))
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Agarwal, Neeraj
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University of Alabama Birmingham
Schools of Medicine
United States
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DeCarlo, Dawn K; Bowman, Ellen; Monroe, Cara et al. (2014) Prevalence of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder among children with vision impairment. J AAPOS 18:10-4
DeCarlo, Dawn K; McGwin Jr, Gerald; Searcey, Karen et al. (2013) Trial frame refraction versus autorefraction among new patients in a low-vision clinic. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 54:19-24