Newborn Hearing Tests More Effective Than Later
TUESDAY, Oct. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Newborn hearing screening
leads to better outcomes than later screening for children with
permanent hearing problems, new European research finds.
In a study of all children born between 2003 and 2005 in the
Netherlands -- more than 570,000 -- researchers identified more
than 400 who had been diagnosed with permanent hearing disorders.
They then analyzed the social development, gross motor development
and overall quality of life of about 300 of the youngsters,
comparing 183 who had had newborn hearing screening (done within 2
weeks of birth) to 118 who had had distraction hearing screening
(behavioral testing) conducted around the age of 9 months.
The researchers found that children in the newborn hearing
screening group had better general and language developmental
outcomes and quality of life at ages 3 to 5 than those in the
distraction hearing screening group, presumably because they
received earlier help as a result.
The study appears in the Oct. 20 issue of the
Journal of the American Medical Association.
The findings "add evidence to the presumed importance and
effectiveness of the implementation of universal newborn hearing
screening programs," wrote the researchers at Leiden University
Medical Center in the Netherlands.
"Because this study was performed nationwide, among all children born in the Netherlands in three subsequent years, we believe our results can be generalized to other countries with universal hearing screening programs, but the feasibility and effectiveness of newborn hearing screening programs in other countries remain to be studied," they concluded.
The U.S. National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication
Disorders has more about
hearing screening for babies.
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