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Repeatability and Intercorrelations of Standard Vision Tests as a Function of Age

Lovie-Kitchin, Jan E. MSc Optom, PhD, FAAO; Brown, Brian PhD


Purpose: We assessed repeatability and intercorrelations of five standard vision tests in subjects with normal vision.

Methods: Seventy-eight subjects (aged 21 to 68 years) completed five measurements each of high- and low-contrast visual acuity, near visual acuity and contrast sensitivity (Pelli-Robson chart).

Results: Except for correlations between high- and low-contrast visual acuity (r = 0.78), intercorrelations between tests were low to moderate (r < 0.5). For each measure, variability for the group was about one line on the chart (one triplet for the Pelli-Robson chart) and the minimum variability for an individual subject was about one third of this. On average, 1 to 2 lines can be expected to be lost over the normal lifespan on each test. Variability in responses did not increase significantly with age for any test.

Conclusions: The criterion for judging change on commonly used clinical vision tests is about one line for subjects over a wide age range.

Centre for Eye Research, School of Optometry, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia

Received December 30, 1999; revision received May 22, 2000.

Jan Lovie-Kitchin

Queensland University of Technology

Centre for Eye Research, School of Optometry

Victoria Park Road, Kelvin Grove

Queensland 4059



© 2000 American Academy of Optometry