Research Article  |   December 2011
Early Hearing Detection and Intervention: Diagnostic Hearing Assessment Practices
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Karen Muñoz
    National Center for Hearing Assessment and Management, Utah State University, Logan
    Utah State University, Logan
  • Lauri Nelson
    Utah State University, Logan
  • Natalie Goldgewicht
    Utah State University, Logan
  • Dennis Odell
    Center for Persons with Disabilities, Utah State University, Logan
  • Correspondence to Karen Muñoz: karen.munoz@usu.edu
  • Editor: Sheila Pratt
    Editor: Sheila Pratt×
  • Associate Editor: Lenore Holt
    Associate Editor: Lenore Holt×
Article Information
Hearing Disorders / Special Populations / Early Identification & Intervention / Research Article
Research Article   |   December 2011
Early Hearing Detection and Intervention: Diagnostic Hearing Assessment Practices
American Journal of Audiology, December 2011, Vol. 20, 123-131. doi:10.1044/1059-0889(2011/10-0046)
History: Received October 25, 2010 , Accepted May 18, 2011
American Journal of Audiology, December 2011, Vol. 20, 123-131. doi:10.1044/1059-0889(2011/10-0046)
History: Received October 25, 2010; Accepted May 18, 2011
Web of Science® Times Cited: 2

Purpose: To gain an understanding of practice patterns for infant diagnostic hearing services at pediatric audiology facilities.

Method: The authors used a cross-sectional survey design. From August to November of 2009, surveys were mailed to 1,091 facilities in 28 states and the District of Columbia. One survey was completed per facility, and responses were anonymous.

Results: The return rate was 33% (356 surveys). The results revealed that the comprehensiveness of the test batteries used varied among facilities. Over half of the respondents, 146 (55%), reported using a limited test battery, 94 facilities reported using a comprehensive test battery but lacked at least 1 component recommended by the Joint Committee on Infant Hearing, and 25 facilities reported using a test battery that met Joint Committee on Infant Hearing recommendations. The wait time for an appointment varied between facilities (range = 3 days–5 months) and was affected by the test condition (i.e., natural sleep, sedation, or operating room).

Conclusions: The results suggest that it is difficult for stakeholders to identify pediatric audiology facilities that serve infants less than 6 months of age and that there is variability among facilities in test batteries and wait times for an appointment. Implications exist for diagnostic accuracy and timeliness of diagnosis.

Acknowledgments
The work reported in this article was funded in part by the Maternal and Child Health Bureau under Cooperative Agreement U52MC04391 with the National Center for Hearing Assessment and Management at Utah State University. The opinions expressed in the article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the Maternal and Child Health Bureau. We acknowledge Patricia Roush and the pediatric audiologists at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill for their assistance in assessing the survey instrument.
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