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Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol. 2009 Jan;73(1):1-7. doi: 10.1016/j.ijporl.2008.09.002.

Newborn hearing screening: an outpatient model.

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The purpose of this study was to assess the feasibility of implementing an outpatient model of a newborn hearing screening program with a particular focus on determining how compliance with the follow-up appointment related to specific socio-economic and demographic factors associated with the mother.


Mothers who delivered their babies in public hospitals in Recife, northeast Brazil, were invited to participate in a two-step program. In Step 1 they were interviewed with regard to specific socio-economic and demographic factors, and then scheduled for a hearing screening test for their baby 1 month after discharge. In Step 2, the baby's hearing was screened using transient otoacoustic emissions.


A total of 1035 mothers consented to participate in Step 1, but only 149 returned to participate in Step 2 (14.3%). Analysis of the socio-economic and demographic factors indicated that mothers who did not comply with the scheduled newborn hearing screening (NHS) test generally had less than a high school education and came from primarily lower income families who lived in rural areas outside of Recife.


The results of this study highlight some socio-economic and demographic factors of the population of northeast Brazil that contribute to a low compliance rate for an outpatient model of a newborn hearing screening program. Possible solutions to the low compliance rate are considered.

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