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On the threshold of effective well infant nursery hearing screening in Western Sicily

  • Autori: Martines, F.; Bentivegna, D.; Ciprì, S.; Costantino, C.; Marchese, D.; Martines, E.
  • Anno di pubblicazione: 2012
  • Tipologia: Articolo in rivista (Articolo in rivista)
  • Parole Chiave: Neonatal screening; Well-infant nursery; Sensorineural hearing loss; Otoacoustic emission;
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Objective: To determine the feasibility and effectiveness of well-infant nursery hearing screening programme for the early identification of hearing impairment, based on transient evoked otoacoustic emission (TEOAE) with a high “screen sensitivity” reducing the number of more expensive secondary level exams. Methods: The newborns were screened by non-specialist health workers in well babies nursery at the twentieth day of life for 6 years consecutive. Based on PASS/FAIL criteria and presence/absence of audiological risk factors the newborns were divided into four groups each one with its personal step program: G1- PASS without risk factor, free to go home; G2 - PASS with risk factor, retest at the age of 7 months; G3 - FAIL without risk factor, re-screening after 2 weeks for a maximum of four times before audiology assessment; G4 - FAIL with risk factor, retest after 2 weeks. Results: The coverage rate increased progressively from 89.8% to 92%. The referral rate was 1.51% after second stage with a specificity value of 98.78%. The four-stage screening performed for G3 reduced the numbers of global audiology assessment to 0.91% with a final global specificity of 99.4+0.4%. Conclusion: Less than 1% of infants underwent audiological assessment; the false positives resulted 0.62% with hearing loss global incidence of 2.95/1000 and a mean age of confirmation of 3.5 months of age. It is reasonable to think that this screening program could be implement to overall forty-two Western Sicily birth centres within few years.