The MNREAD test was developed by Dr. Gordon Legge and his colleagues at the University of Minnesota (hence MNREAD) to measure aspects of reading ability which are important in a patient’s daily life. The test measures the patient’s best reading speed (fastest accurate reading), the critical print size for fluent reading, and the smallest print size read (reading acuity). Performance on MNREAD test is widely used in clinical trials research to investigate the effects of treatment for eye diseases. The test is also used to evaluate reading ability in patients with low vision due to different causes, including age related macular degeneration, retinitis pigmentosa, diabetic retinopathy, and glaucoma. Research has shown that prescription of low vision devices is effective and successful using MNREAD.
MNREAD uses modern principles of test design needed for accurate and reliable results, such as logMAR spacing between print sizes, a wide range of print sizes so that reading ability can be measured in patients with severe low vision through throughout the range of visual impairment to those with normal or near normal vision.
The Precision Vision MNREAD has two versions, the standard black print on white chart, and a chart with white print on black background for patients with problems with light glare. The PV MNREAD charts also come in 5 versions with different sentences (to avoid memorization by the patient) that are equated for reading ease and comprehensibility.
MNREAD has high test-retest repeatability and excellent correspondence with other measures of reading performance in adults. The MNREAD test is as reliable in children, grades 3 to 8, as visual acuity measured with ETDRS charts
The test has been translated into other languages, and Precision Vision provides two versions in Spanish.
Because of MNREAD’s excellent test properties and extensive background research, I advocate it’s use in any functional vision examination of a patient with low vision, including children who are able to read paragraph books. Best reading speed and critical print size for reading are important, real life skills that can be directly translated into useful recommendations for print materials. Comparing results from the white vs. black charts may help determine the polarity of tablets that enable most efficient reading. Low vision devices can be carefully evaluated using MNREAD measures. The Precision Vision versions of MNREAD should result in accurate measurement and reliable follow up results.
D. Luisa Mayer, Ph.D.
New England College of Optometry
Clinician, New England Eye Low Vision Clinic
Perkins School for the Blind
Boston Children’s Hospital