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J Pediatr. 2013 Mar;162(3):522-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2012.08.055. Epub 2012 Oct 24.

Effects of immediate telephone follow-up with providers on sweat chloride test timing after cystic fibrosis newborn screening identifies a single mutation.

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  • 1Center for Patient Care and Outcomes Research, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI.



To assess whether reporting "possible cystic fibrosis (CF)" newborn screening (NBS) results via fax plus simultaneous telephone contact with primary care providers (PCPs) versus fax alone influenced 3 outcomes: undergoing a sweat chloride test, age at sweat chloride testing, and undergoing sweat testing before age 8 weeks.


This was a retrospective cohort comparison of infants born in Wisconsin whose PCP received a telephone intervention (n = 301) versus recent historical controls whose PCP did not (n = 355). Intervention data were collected during a longitudinal research and quality improvement effort; deidentified comparison data were constructed from auxiliary NBS tracking information. Parametric and nonparametric statistical analyses were performed for group differences.


Most infants (92%) with "possible CF" NBS results whose PCP lacked telephone intervention ultimately underwent sweat testing, underlining efficacy for fax-only reporting. Telephone intervention was significantly associated with improvements in the infants undergoing sweat testing at age ≤6 weeks and <8 weeks and a slight, statistically nonsignificant 3.5-day reduction in the infants' age at sweat testing. The effect of telephone intervention was greater for PCPs whose patients underwent sweat testing at community-affiliated medical centers versus those whose patients did so at academic medical centers (P = .008).


Reporting "possible CF" NBS results via fax plus simultaneous telephone follow-up with PCPs increases the rate of sweat chloride testing before 8 weeks of age, when affected infants are more likely to receive full benefits of early diagnosis and treatment.

Copyright © 2013 Mosby, Inc. All rights reserved.

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