Aim: To evaluate 10-year quality assurance of newborn hearing screening (NHS) in Dutch neonatal intensive care units (NICU).
Methods: Results of the two-stage automated auditory brainstem response (AABR) screening and diagnostic examination in NICU graduates were centrally registered between October 1998 and December 2008. This registration facilitates screening, tracking and follow-up after abnormal screening results. Outcome measures are referral rates, prevalence rate of hearing loss and (trends of) coverage rates and timeliness of follow-up.
Results: Thirty-two thousand one hundred and two infants have been screened. Referral rates were 9.2% at the first and 26.3% at the second stage. Hearing loss was diagnosed in 728 infants (2.2%). Coverage rates were 98.7% at the first, 92.1% at the second stage, 92.3% for the diagnostic examination and 97.9% for the complete programme. After correction for gestational age, 95.8% of the infants had their first AABR <1 month, 81.8% of the referred infants had their second AABR <6 weeks and 67.1% were diagnosed <3 months. There was a positive trend in referred infants that had their second AABR <6 weeks (p = 0.004) as well as in infants diagnosed <3 months (p <0.001).
Conclusion: The NHS in Dutch NICUs is effective. Timely identification of hearing loss is improving over time.
- INTERVENTION PROGRAMS
- POSITION STATEMENT