ABSTRACT: A discussion concerning the relevance of universal newborn hearing screening has been conducted in France since the end of the 1990s. As a contribution to the choice of strategy to be implemented, we evaluated and compared the results of this screening and its impact on the parent-infant relationship as a function of the time at which screening was performed: during the infant's stay in the maternity unit, in the first strategy (strategy 1), or 2 months after birth, in the second strategy (strategy 2).
Five thousand seven hundred and ninety infants participated in the study: 3202 were included in the first strategy and 2588 were included in the second strategy. Within this population, 143 mother-infant pairs were submitted to psychological assessment. We compared the number of infants screened, the number of first positive tests, the number of false-positive tests and the number of infants not reviewed after screening. Adverse effects on the parent-infant relationship were evaluated in terms of maternal anxiety and the quality of early interactions.
A statistically significant difference in favor of newborn screening was demonstrated for the number of infants screened: 95.72% for the first strategy [95.0%; 96.4%], 64.18% for the second strategy [62.3%; 66.0%]; the number of first positive tests: 1.11% during newborn screening [0.7%; 1.5%], 3.13% in the second strategy [2.3%; 4.0%]; the number of false-positive tests: 0.29% in the first strategy [0.10%; 0.49%] and 2.65% in the second strategy [1.88%; 3.42%]; and the number of infants not reviewed after screening: 8.8% during newborn screening [0.0%; 18.4%] and 38.5% in the second strategy [25.2%; 51.7%]. Analysis of the results of the psychological assessment showed that screening per se did not have any impact on maternal anxiety or on the quality of early interactions, regardless of the screening strategy used. However, the result of the test had a significant impact. Announcement of a positive result increased maternal anxiety and induced a deterioration of the mother's psychological state which affected the quality of early interactions. As the number of positive results is significantly lower in newborn hearing screening, there are consequently fewer psychological side effects with this strategy than with the second strategy.
This study demonstrates that universal newborn hearing screening is the most efficient strategy.
International Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology 08/2007; 71(7):1055-60. · 1.17 Impact Factor