Performance of screening tests in the preventive services for infants

H. Palti, R. Gofin, B. Adler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Early detection is one of the aims of the surveillance by the preventive services in infancy. Objectives: This article presents the performance of screening for anemia in infancy, compliance with iron supplementation and treatment, screening for hearing, and abnormalities of the hip joint, and referral to ear, nose and throat (E.N.T.) and orthopedic specialists according to the screening results. Methods: The sample consisted of Jewish and Arab women who gave birth during March 2000. Mothers were interviewed after the infants reached the age of 15-19 months (667 Jewish and 211 Arab). All the women utilized the preventive services of the Ministry of Health, municipalities or H.M.O's. Arab women from East Jerusalem utilized the services of non-governmental organizations (NGO's). Results: A total of 61% of the Jewish and 86% of the Arab infants had a hemoglobin examination. Eighty-five percent of the Jewish and 75% of the Arab infants received iron as a supplement or treatment for anemia. The performance of hearing tests was 88% and 77%, respectively. Among the infants referred to E.N.T. no hearing loss was detected. Fourteen percent were not screened nor referred by the family physician/pediatrician. Among the self referrals, one child was detected with a hearing loss. Percent referrals to the orthopedic surgeon was higher among Jewish than Arab infants. Among those not examined through the preventive services, the rate of pathology detected by the orthopedic surgeon was higher than those referred. Recommendations: Findings highlight the need to improve the quality of screening and increase the percent of infants screened in the Arab and Jewish population, particularly those of the N.G. O.'s, with emphasis on high risk groups. Furthermore, efforts should be directed to define and recommend routines for detection of abnormalities of the hip joint, and integrate the procedures within the health services.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)849-855
Number of pages7
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Infancy
  • Israel
  • Preventive services
  • Screening

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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