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J Matern Fetal Neonatal Med. 2013 Jun;26(9):932-5. doi: 10.3109/14767058.2013.766687. Epub 2013 Feb 12.

Failure of hearing screening in high-risk neonates does not increase parental anxiety.

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Child Neurology and Clinical Neurophysiology, Paediatric University Hospital, Padua, Italy.



The aim of this study was to determine whether a failure of neonatal hearing screening affected the anxiety level of parents of high-risk infants.


Two hundred and eighty-eight parents of infants included in the neonatal hearing screening protocol of our Institution were tested with the Spielberger State-Trait Anxiety Inventory and with an open-question questionnaire investigating parents' attitude to hearing problems in their child, done at the time of audiological follow-up. 105 were parents of high-risk infants who had been discharged from neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) and 183 of low-risk infants discharged from well-baby nursery.


No differences in anxiety levels were seen between parents of high-risk infants passing and failing neonatal hearing screening using homogeneous case-control pairs. Additionally, no differences in the level of anxiety were found between parents of high- and low-risk infants failing neonatal auditory screening.


Failure of neonatal auditory screening does not affect the anxiety levels of parents of high-risk infants at post discharge from NICU. This finding is a key factor to be considered when evaluating the costs and benefits of tests for universal neonatal hearing screening.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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