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Comparison of Logarithmic Reading Charts for Visual Assessment in Normally Sighted Participants
Logarithmic reading charts provide standardized measures of reading performance. Here we show that existing charts provide equivalent assessments of visual aspects of reading that are in good agreement with traditional measures of visual acuity and seem uninfluenced by cognitive (linguistic) factors.
The aims of this study were to (1) determine the equivalence of logarithmic charts of sentence and word reading, (2) evaluate the relationship between reading chart performance and more traditional measures of visual assessment, and (3) establish the influence of linguistic factors on reading chart performance.
In a sample of 82 normally sighted participants, we determined performance on the reading measures (e.g., reading acuity, reading speed, critical print size) of the following logarithmic charts of sentence and word reading: The Colenbrander English Continuous Text Near Vision Card, Radner Reading Chart, Minnesota Reading Acuity Chart, and Smith-Kettlewell Reading Chart. In doing so, we compared performance on reading measures between charts and with performance on more traditional measures of visual assessment (uncrowded and crowded letter acuity, stereoacuity, accommodation) and cognitive measures of word knowledge and ability (Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale Vocabulary Subtest, National Adult Reading Test).
Factor analysis confirmed that performance on the reading measures (reading acuity, reading speed, critical print size) was equivalent across charts. Reading test performance was also related to more traditional measures of vision, the most consistent of which were significant associations between reading acuity and acuity for single-letter optotypes. There were no significant associations between reading chart performance and cognitive measures of word knowledge and ability.
The findings presented here suggest that logarithmic charts composed of sentences and words represent an alternative to traditional letter acuity testing. This is particularly the case for measures of reading acuity.