Article  |   June 2009
Newborn Hearing Screening Follow-Up: Factors Affecting Hearing Aid Fitting by 6 Months of Age
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Lynn Spivak
    Long Island Jewish Medical Center, New Hyde Park, NY
  • Heidi Sokol
    Long Island Jewish Medical Center, New Hyde Park, NY
  • Charles Auerbach
    Long Island Jewish Medical Center, New Hyde Park, NY
  • Stella Gershkovich
    Long Island Jewish Medical Center, New Hyde Park, NY
  • Contact author: Lynn Spivak, Long Island Jewish Medical Center, Hearing and Speech Center, 430 Lakeville Road, New Hyde Park, NY 11042. E-mail: spivak@lij.edu.
Hearing Disorders / Hearing Aids, Cochlear Implants & Assistive Technology / Special Populations / Early Identification & Intervention / Healthcare Settings
Article   |   June 2009
Newborn Hearing Screening Follow-Up: Factors Affecting Hearing Aid Fitting by 6 Months of Age
American Journal of Audiology June 2009, Vol.18, 24-33. doi:10.1044/1059-0889(2008/08-0015)
History: Accepted 10 Nov 2008 , Received 06 Jun 2008
American Journal of Audiology June 2009, Vol.18, 24-33. doi:10.1044/1059-0889(2008/08-0015)
History: Accepted 10 Nov 2008 , Received 06 Jun 2008

Purpose: To determine the extent to which the goal of hearing aid fitting by 6 months of age is being achieved and to identify barriers to achieving that goal.

Method: Screening and follow-up records from 114,121 infants born at 6 hospitals were collected over a 6-year period. Infants diagnosed with permanent hearing loss requiring amplification were categorized as fit on time, fit late, or lost to follow-up. Seven factors were empirically identified as potential barriers to timely intervention.

Results: Ninety-one percent of referred infants returned for follow-up evaluation. Hearing aids were fit on 107 of the 192 infants requiring amplification. Thirty-nine percent were fit on time, and 61% were fit late or lost to follow-up. Unilateral hearing loss and late diagnosis were statistically significant (p < .0001) predictors for late fitting and loss to follow-up. Conductive hearing loss and coverage by Medicaid were also statistically significant (p < .0001) predictors for loss to follow-up.

Conclusion: High return rate for follow-up does not ensure hearing aid fitting by 6 months of age. Infants with unilateral hearing loss are at particular risk of being lost to follow-up.

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