Infant, Maternal, and Hospital Factors' Role in Loss to Follow-up After Failed Newborn Hearing Screening

Maureen Cunningham, Vickie Thomson, Erica McKiever, L Miriam Dickinson, Anna Furniss, Mandy A Allison
Academic Pediatrics 2018, 18 (2): 188-195

OBJECTIVE: Completion of newborn hearing screening (NBHS) is recommended by 1 month old. Delays and loss to follow-up and documentation (LTF/LTD) after failed NBHS are common. Committees of experts have established hospital guidelines to reduce LTF/LTD. We aimed to identify maternal and infant factors associated with LTF/LTD and determine if adherence to hospital guidelines is associated with timely completion of follow-up screening.

METHODS: We conducted a retrospective study of all infants born in Colorado hospitals who failed the newborn admission hearing screening from 2007 to 2012 and a cross-sectional survey of NBHS coordinators at Colorado birthing hospitals. Neonatal intensive care unit infants were excluded. Outcomes included documented completion of the follow-up NBHS and completion by 1 month. Data sources comprised the electronic birth record, infant hearing integrated data system, and NBHS coordinator survey. Data were analyzed by logistic regression.

RESULTS: A total of 13,904 newborns did not pass the newborn admission hearing screening from 2007 to 2012, and 11,422 (82%) had documentation of a completed follow-up screening. A total of 10,558 (76%) completed follow-up screening by 1 month. All 53 NBHS coordinators completed the survey. Maternal age, education, smoking, and birth country; and payer, race, birth order, and population density were associated with completion of follow-up hearing screening. Maternal education, payer, population density, birth weight, and cleft lip were associated with completion by 1 month of age. Only birth in a facility that charges a rescreening fee was associated with completion of follow-up screening.

CONCLUSIONS: Low-income, rural, and minority infants are at risk for LTF. Further studies are needed to determine if adherence to guidelines can overcome barriers to follow-up.

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