Intervention May Improve Follow-Up Rates for Newborns With Hearing Loss Although newborn hearing screening is nearly ubiquitous in the United States, not all parents of infants who fail the screening follow up after referrals. But intervention—in this case, via the federal nutrition assistance program Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)—could improve the rates of follow-up, according to a new study from ... Research in Brief
Free
Research in Brief  |   September 01, 2016
Intervention May Improve Follow-Up Rates for Newborns With Hearing Loss
Author Notes
Article Information
Hearing Disorders / Research in Brief
Research in Brief   |   September 01, 2016
Intervention May Improve Follow-Up Rates for Newborns With Hearing Loss
The ASHA Leader, September 2016, Vol. 21, 12. doi:10.1044/leader.RIB1.21092016.12
The ASHA Leader, September 2016, Vol. 21, 12. doi:10.1044/leader.RIB1.21092016.12
Although newborn hearing screening is nearly ubiquitous in the United States, not all parents of infants who fail the screening follow up after referrals.
But intervention—in this case, via the federal nutrition assistance program Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)—could improve the rates of follow-up, according to a new study from the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center.
“We found by working together with WIC we significantly improved the effectiveness of newborn hearing screening programs for low-income mothers and their babies,” says study co-author Scott Wexelblatt, medical director of regional newborn services at Cincinnati Children’s. “The earlier an infant is correctly identified, the better the outcome for speech, language and reading.”
The study, published in the journal Pediatrics, was led by Lisa Hunter, scientific director of research in the Division of Audiology and faculty member at the Communication Sciences Research Center at Cincinnati Children’s.
Although U.S. participation in newborn hearing tests is around 97 percent, nearly 32 percent of newborns identified as having a hearing loss do not receive a rescreening or diagnostic assessment before they are 6 months old (the researchers refer to this as “lost to follow-up”), undermining the effectiveness of the screening programs. The study’s authors also note that children of low-income mothers are especially at risk because of barriers such as transportation, child care, work or school schedules, and insurance coverage.

Although U.S. participation in newborn hearing tests is around 97 percent, nearly 32 percent of newborns identified as having a hearing loss do not receive a rescreening or diagnostic assessment before they are 6 months old.

In a two-year period, the Ohio Department of Health recorded 1,493 hearing screening referrals at six hospitals in the Cincinnati area; 260 of these infants who were WIC-eligible were referred to the study, which compared their follow-up rates and age at follow-up with those of non-WIC infants tracked during the same time period.
WIC-eligible infants received hearing rescreenings at their WIC appointments, at which point they were either cleared or sent on for diagnostic visits, says Hunter. Over the two years, the rate of eligible infants lost to follow-up (those who could not be reached for a rescreening at WIC or diagnostic visit, despite multiple attempts) was 9.6 percent, compared with 28.7 percent of infants from the same six hospitals who were not WIC-eligible.
Hearing diagnoses were made at an average age of 34.8 days for WIC-eligible infants, and at an average of 63.6 days for non-WIC infants.
0 Comments
Submit a Comment
Submit A Comment
Name
Comment Title
Comment


This feature is available to Subscribers Only
Sign In or Create an Account ×
FROM THIS ISSUE
September 2016
Volume 21, Issue 9