Hearing Screening in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit: Follow-Up of Referrals Purpose The goal of this study was to examine the rate of diagnostic testing after newborn hearing screening (NHS) referral, evaluate timeliness of follow-up, and evaluate the use of multilevel auditory brainstem response (ABR) in screening of high-risk infants. Method Telephone interviews were conducted with parents of infants ... Research Article
Research Article  |   June 01, 2006
Hearing Screening in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit: Follow-Up of Referrals
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Judith E. C. Lieu
    Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO
  • Roanne K. Karzon
    Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis Children’s Hospital, St. Louis, MO
  • Carole C. Mange
    St. Louis Children’s Hospital, St. Louis, MO
  • Contact author: Judith E. Cho Lieu, Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Washington University School of Medicine, One Children’s Place, Room 3S 35, St. Louis, MO 63110. Email: lieuj@ent.wustl.edu
Article Information
Hearing Disorders / Special Populations / Early Identification & Intervention / Healthcare Settings / Research and Technology / Research Articles
Research Article   |   June 01, 2006
Hearing Screening in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit: Follow-Up of Referrals
American Journal of Audiology, June 2006, Vol. 15, 66-74. doi:10.1044/1059-0889(2006/008)
History: Received March 11, 2005 , Revised July 13, 2005 , Accepted November 15, 2005
 
American Journal of Audiology, June 2006, Vol. 15, 66-74. doi:10.1044/1059-0889(2006/008)
History: Received March 11, 2005; Revised July 13, 2005; Accepted November 15, 2005

Purpose The goal of this study was to examine the rate of diagnostic testing after newborn hearing screening (NHS) referral, evaluate timeliness of follow-up, and evaluate the use of multilevel auditory brainstem response (ABR) in screening of high-risk infants.

Method Telephone interviews were conducted with parents of infants who had been admitted to a neonatal intensive care unit from 1999 to 2002 and referred on NHS. An ABR screen was combined with a multilevel ABR (40, 70, and 90 dB nHL) for referrals.

Results Parents of 206 infants participated; 69% of the infants underwent diagnostic follow-up. Of those with follow-up, 37% had normal hearing, 38% had hearing loss, and parents were unsure of hearing test results for 25%. Follow-up by 6 months of age occurred for 13% in 1999, increasing to 31% by 2002. Infants who did not pass their screening in both ears had confirmed hearing loss in 56% vs. 25% in those who passed in 1 ear. Also, 67% of infants with bilateral pass levels of 90 dB nHL or more had confirmed hearing loss, vs. 32% in all others.

Conclusions Timely follow-up after NHS referral in our program has improved over time. Multilevel ABR may facilitate allocation of appropriate resources to track and ensure follow-up in infants at high risk for hearing loss.

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