An Open Access article published in the Health Behavior and Policy Review Journal.
The full article is available as a PDF download.
Holly Given, BS
Amanda Neitzel, PhD
Ahmed F. Shakarchi, MBChB, MPH
Megan E. Collins, MD, MPH
School-based vision programs provide care directly in schools. Parental consent is typically required for student participation. In this paper, we examine school-level factors associated with consent form return.
We included 123 schools served by a vision program in Baltimore, Maryland between the 2016-17 and 2018-19 school years. Multiple linear regression modeling was used to examine the associations between consent return rate and school type (elementary, elementary/middle or middle school), school size, student attendance, student mobility, percent of students in special education, poverty (percent eligible for free and reduced-price lunch), teacher qualifications, parent response rate to annual school climate survey, vision screening failure rate, and year of vision program participation (cohort).
The final model explained 26.2% of variability in consent return rate. Overall consent return rate was 57.8% (range 9.4%-100%). School size (β = -2.419, p < .01) and cohort (βCohort2 = 11.988, p < .01) were significantly associated with consent rate. Whereas poverty (β = 0.225, p < .10) and mobility (β = -0.647, p < .10) were relevant, they did not reach statistical significance.
School-level factors are significantly associated with consent form return rates. School-based vision programs should consider additional measures to increase consent form return, especially in larger schools and schools with high rates of student mobility.