Factors influencing follow-up to newborn hearing screening for infants who are hard of hearing

Lenore Holte, Elizabeth Walker, Jacob Oleson, Meredith Spratford, Mary Pat Moeller, Patricia Roush, Hua Ou, J. Bruce Tomblin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

100 Scopus citations


Purpose: To document the epidemiological characteristics of a group of children who are hard of hearing, identify individual predictor variables for timely follow-up after a failed newborn hearing screening, and identify barriers to follow-up encountered by families. Method: The authors used an accelerated longitudinal design to investigate outcomes for children who are hard of hearing in a large, multicenter study. The present study involved a subgroup of 193 children with hearing loss who did not pass the newborn hearing screening. The authors used available records to capture ages of confirmation of hearing loss, hearing aid fitting, and entry into early intervention. Linear regression models were used to investigate relationships among individual predictor variables and age at each follow-up benchmark. Results: Of several predictor variables, only higher levels of maternal education were significantly associated with earlier confirmation of hearing loss and fitting of hearing aids; severity of hearing loss was not. No variables were significantly associated with age of entry into early intervention. Each recommended benchmark was met by a majority of children, but only one third met all of the benchmarks within the recommended time frame. Conclusion: Results suggest that underserved communities need extra support in navigating steps that follow failed newborn hearing screening.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)163-174
Number of pages12
JournalAmerican journal of audiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2012


  • Hearing loss
  • Infants
  • Screening
  • Universal newborn hearing screening

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Speech and Hearing


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