Hong Kong Med J 2004;10:6-13 | Number 1, February 2004
Feasibility of implementing a universal neonatal hearing screening programme using distortion product otoacoustic emission detection at a university hospital in Hong Kong
PK Ng, Y Hui, BCC Lam, WHS Goh, CY Yeung
Children’s Habilitation Institute, The Duchess of Kent Children’s Hospital at Sandy Bay, 12 Sandy Bay Road, Pokfulam, Hong Kong
OBJECTIVE. To assess the feasibility of implementing a universal neonatal hearing screening programme using distortion product otoacoustic emission detection at a major teaching hospital in Hong Kong.
DESIGN. Descriptive study and questionnaire.
SETTING. Teaching hospital, Hong Kong.
METHODS. A total of 1064 infants, together with their mothers, were successfully recruited for the study. The participation rate was 99.3%. A three-stage hearing screening protocol using distortion product otoacoustic emission detection was adopted. Each of the participating infants was screened on three separate occasions (day 1-4, day 5-14, and day 21-30 after birth), irrespective of the test results. A questionnaire was administered to 364 randomly selected mothers to determine whether as consumers of the hearing screening service, mothers would find screening desirable.
RESULTS. Results of the screening demonstrated an incidence of permanent bilateral hearing loss (≥40 dB in the better ear) of 0.28%. The results also showed that 3.5% of the screened infants were referred for subsequent diagnostic audiological assessment, including those suspected with unilateral as well as bilateral hearing loss. Data obtained were comparable to other reported results obtained using multi-stage screening protocols. Taking b oth the false positive rate and the default rate into consideration, the most appropriate time for screening in this hospital setting appeared to be around day 5 to 14 when infants returned to the hospital’s day centre as out-patients for routine medical follow-up. Since this day centre service is not generally provided by all maternity hospitals in Hong Kong, an alternative time for screening would be around day 21 to 30 when infants could return as out-patients solely for the hearing test. The results of the questionnaire suggested that most mothers thought a neonatal hearing screening would be desirable (91.35%). The majority (81.70%) indicated a preference for screening either within a few days of birth at the maternity ward prior to discharge from the hospital, or between 5 and 30 days when returning to the hospital as an outpatient.
CONCLUSION. It was concluded that a universal neonatal hearing screening programme could be readily implemented in a maternity hospital setting in Hong Kong.
Key words: Feasibility studies; Hearing tests; Infant, newborn; Neonatal screening
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