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An implementation study of neonatal hearing screening in the Netherlands

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Author: Uilenburg, N. · Kauffman-Boer, M. de · Ploeg, K. van der · Oudesluys-Murphy, A.M. · Verkerk, P.
Institution: TNO Kwaliteit van Leven
Source:International Journal of Audiology, 3, 48, 108-116
Identifier: 241420
doi: doi:10.1080/14992020802448992
Keywords: Health · Jeugd en Gezondheid · Implementation study · Transient evoked otoacoustic emission · TEOAE · Universal neonatal hearing screening · UNHS · Economics · Health care quality · Newborn · Patient referral · Physiology · Hearing · Hearing Loss · Hearing Tests · Home Care Services · Humans · Infant · Infant, Newborn · Neonatal Screening · Netherlands · Nurses · Program Evaluation · Referral and Consultation · Time


The objective of this study was to investigate whether universal neonatal hearing screening could be integrated in the youth health care program. The screening was performed by nurses of the well baby clinics. A three stage transient evoked otoacoustic emission screening was performed in three different screening settings in order to study the most effective set up regarding participation, refer rates, and costs. In one setting parents visited the well baby clinic, and in two settings babies were screened at home (either in combination with the screening for metabolic diseases or during an intake visit). Screening was performed on 3114 healthy newborns. The setting where universal neonatal hearing screening is integrated with the screening for metabolic diseases, proved to be most efficient and effective. The participation rate of 88.9% was highest in this setting and the overall refer rate (1.4%) was the lowest. The implementation of universal neonatal hearing screening by the well baby clinic nurses was judged to be possible. The results of this study formed the basis for nationwide implementation. © 2009 British Society of Audiology, International Society of Audiology, and Nordic Audiological Society.