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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 7  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 155-159

A mobile team for screening of retinopathy of prematurity in India: Cost - effectiveness, outcomes, and impact assessment

Department of Ophthalmology, National institute of Ophthalmology Pune, Maharashtra, India

Correspondence Address:
Jai Kelkar
National Institute of Ophthalmology, 1187/30, Off Ghole Road, Near Phule Museum, Pune - 411 005, Maharashtra
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/tjo.tjo_48_17

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Purpose: To study the cost effectiveness, outcomes and impact of retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) screening and management model for urban neonatal intensive care units (NICUs). Study Design: Public health intervention study. Methods: This study was conducted in 2013. Staff of a mobile unit assessed all infants aged less than 34 weeks of Gestation age at birth and/or birth weight 1700 GM or less admitted in five NICUs between 2013 and 2015. A trained ophthalmologist performed bedside ROP screening through dilated pupils using indirect ophthalmoscope. ROP was graded and managed as per the International Classification of Retinopathy of Prematurity treatment guidelines. Counseling and laser treatment were the interventions. The incidence, grade and determinants of ROP were estimated. Direct and indirect costs were calculated to estimate the unit cost of screening and managing a child with ROP using the model. Results: The study sample included 102 preterm/underweight infants. The prevalence of ROP of different grades in either eye was 32% (95% Confidence Intervals (CI): 23.2–41.5). ROP stage I was present in 75% of these eyes. The model could help in preventing/reducing visual disability in 4 infants with advanced stages of ROP. The unit cost of ROP screening, identifying one child with ROP and addressing visual disability due to ROP was US $ 198.9, 596.7 and 4,137.4 respectively. Conclusion: A mobile screening is likely feasible and cost-effective method to detect ROP and offer timely intervention for NICU in urban areas with limited resources.

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