Hearing screening in the neonatal intensive care unit: Follow-up of referrals

Judith E.C. Lieu, Roanne K. Karzon, Carole C. Mange

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Purpose: The goal of this study was to examine the rate of diagnostic testing after newborn hearing screening (NHS) referral, evaluate timeliness of follow-up, and evaluate the use of multilevel auditory brainstem response (ABR) in screening of high-risk infants. Method: Telephone interviews were conducted with parents of infants who had been admitted to a neonatal intensive care unit from 1999 to 2002 and referred on NHS. An ABR screen was combined with a multilevel ABR (40, 70, and 90 dB nHL) for referrals. Results: Parents of 206 infants participated; 69% of the infants underwent diagnostic follow-up. Of those with follow-up, 37% had normal hearing, 38% had hearing loss, and parents were unsure of hearing test results for 25%. Follow-up by 6 months of age occurred for 13% in 1999, increasing to 31% by 2002. Infants who did not pass their screening in both ears had confirmed hearing loss in 56% vs. 25% in those who passed in 1 ear. Also, 67% of infants with bilateral pass levels of 90 dB nHL or more had confirmed hearing loss, vs. 32% in all others. Conclusions: Timely follow-up after NHS referral in our program has improved over time. Multilevel ABR may facilitate allocation of appropriate resources to track and ensure follow-up in infants at high risk for hearing loss.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)66-74
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Audiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jun 1 2006


  • Auditory brainstem response
  • Hearing loss
  • Newborn hearing screening


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