Universal neonatal hearing screening--parental attitudes and concern

Br J Audiol. 2000 Dec;34(6):321-7. doi: 10.3109/03005364000000147.


This study addresses parental attitudes and concern in relation to universal neonatal hearing screening by otoacoustic emissions (OAE) testing. The parents of 87 children who had participated during the first year of the universal neonatal hearing screening programme at University Hospital, Linköping, Sweden were included in the study. These children were all tested during this period and later cared for at three well-baby clinics (part of their primary healthcare). A questionnaire was given to the parents during routine medical check-ups at the well-baby clinics when the infants were 5-6 months of age. Ninety-five per cent of parents stated that they had a positive attitude towards neonatal hearing screening, 1% were ambivalent and 4% were negative about it. The parents wanted early detection of hearing loss and the possibility of early intervention. It was also found that screening did not disturb the children. A few parents were anxious due to repeated testing of their children. The information provided in connection with the test was found to be sufficient by 77% of parents, whereas 11% of parents had negative comments about it (e.g. they wanted more information about the otoacoustic emissions technique). The general attitude among parents towards universal neonatal hearing screening was very positive in that they felt reassured by it. The risk of disturbing the parent-child relationship by early screening seems to be small, and could be further minimized by improved information and rapid and effective follow-up.

MeSH terms

  • Attitude to Health*
  • Catchment Area, Health
  • Hearing Disorders / diagnosis
  • Hearing Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Neonatal Screening*
  • Otoacoustic Emissions, Spontaneous / physiology
  • Parent-Child Relations*
  • Parents*
  • Stress, Psychological / psychology
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Sweden / epidemiology