Importance: An unacceptably high number of children who do not pass universal newborn hearing screening (UNHS) are lost to follow-up.
Objectives: To provide insight into parent recall of UNHS.
Design, setting, and participants: In this nationally representative cross-sectional survey, 2144 US parent households were surveyed in May 2012 using the Knowledge Panel. Responses of parents whose children were born before vs after UNHS implementation were compared.
Main outcomes and measures: Outcome measures included recall of hearing screen at birth, hearing screen results, and recommendations for follow-up. All outcome measures were based on parent recall and report. Descriptive statistics and multiple logistic regression analyses were used.
Results: The study participants included 1539 parent households and 605 nonparent households. Of the 1539 parent households surveyed, the mean age of the parents was 38.8 years (range, 18-88 years), the mean age of the children was 10.2 years (range, 0-17 years), and the mean age of children with hearing loss was 12.1 years (range, 0-17 years). A total of 1539 parents (55.8%) were women. Only 62.9% of parents (unweighted n = 950) recalled a newborn hearing screen, and among those children with risk indicators for hearing loss (n = 587), only 68.6% (unweighted n = 385) recalled a hearing screen. Higher parent educational level (odds ratio [OR], 2.27; 95% CI, 1.17-4.41, for some college and OR, 2.41; 95% CI, 1.22-4.78, for a bachelor's degree; P = .03), younger age of the child (OR, 1.16; 95% CI, 1.11-1.23; P < .001), and the presence of any risk indicator for hearing loss (OR, 1.5; 95% CI, 1.13-2.13; P = .007) were associated with parent recall of hearing screen. Reported pass rates were higher than expected. Parent recall of follow-up recommendations was not always consistent with guidelines.
Conclusions and relevance: Although this study is inherently limited by recall bias, the findings indicate a lack of parent awareness of UNHS. Changes in the system of reporting UNHS results are necessary to improve parent recall of screen results and improve follow-up for children who do not pass the screen.