Original Research

Design of a paediatric rate of reading test chart

Urvashni Nirghin
African Vision and Eye Health | Vol 79, No 1 | a536 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/aveh.v79i1.536 | © 2020 Urvashni Nirghin | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 19 September 2019 | Published: 06 August 2020

About the author(s)

Urvashni Nirghin, Discipline of Optometry, College of Health Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa


Background: Reading rate reflects the quality of reading performance, especially in children, not typically measured during routine eye examinations. There is currently no reading rate chart with optometric notations made specifically for children with normal vision and low vision.

Aim: To design a chart with optometric notations to measure reading rates in normally sighted and low-vision children.

Setting: The study was conducted in an assigned room of a selected school with fluorescent lighting.

Methods: Ten words were randomly arranged in each of the 10 rows of the chart. Two font versions were printed in black ink on white cardboards. Reliability and validity of the chart was established with 100 normally sighted children. Data were analysed using paired t-tests, Pearson’s correlation and the Bland and Altman method.

Results: Six versions each in Arial and Times New Roman fonts were designed, with equivalent Snellen acuity levels, with each version having four acuity notations. Reliability results were p = 0.29 and = 0.95, with the Bland and Altman method revealing a mean difference of −0.58 correct words read per minute (cwpm) with confidence limits of +10.07 and −11.23 cwpm. Validity determined with the Wilkins chart and the new chart were p = 0.01 and = 0.99, with the Bland and Altman method showing a mean difference of +0.90 cwpm with confidence limits of +6.33 and −4.53 cwpm.

Conclusions: This chart is a reliable and valid tool and can be used for assessing reading rates of normally sighted and low-vision children.


reading rate; reading performance; reading chart; low vision; children


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Crossref Citations

1. Reading rate of low vision children using optical devices: A pilot study
Urvashni Nirghin
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doi: 10.4102/aveh.v82i1.854