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J Prim Care Community Health. 2012 Oct 1;3(4):256-63. doi: 10.1177/2150131912440283. Epub 2012 Mar 12.

Pediatric primary care physicians' practices regarding newborn hearing screening.

Author information

1
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Approximately 2 to 3 out of 1000 infants are born with hearing loss in the United States each year. Pediatric primary care physicians (PCPs) can play an important role in ensuring that infants with hearing loss are identified early and provided appropriate services. In this study, pediatric PCPs were surveyed about their practices regarding early hearing detection and intervention.

METHODS:

Responses from the 2008 DocStyles survey were used to examine patient, physician, and practice variables associated with actions consistent with the 2007 Joint Committee on Infant Hearing position statement, which includes follow-up protocols for medical home providers.

RESULTS:

Pediatricians working in a group setting were more likely to receive hearing screening results than were those in individual practices or hospitals and clinics. Family/general physicians with heavier caseloads were more likely to receive hearing screening results for their pediatric patients than were those with lighter caseloads. Few pediatric PCPs reported contacting their state's early hearing detection and intervention program if they knew that an infant failed the newborn hearing screening. Although high proportions of pediatric PCPs reported referring an infant with hearing loss to an otolaryngologist, only about half reported referring a child with risk factors for hearing loss for audiological and speech-language assessment, even if the parents expressed concern or if the results of a developmental screening indicated a possible delay. Few respondents reported referring an infant with hearing loss under their care to an ophthalmologist.

CONCLUSIONS:

This study highlights the need to improve infrastructure for pediatric PCPs to receive and request infant hearing screening results to facilitate reporting and coordinate follow-up services for infants identified with hearing loss.

KEYWORDS:

community health; health outcomes; health promotion; prevention; primary care

PMID:
23804171
DOI:
10.1177/2150131912440283

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