Early identification of hearing impairment in infants and young children

NIH Consens Statement. 1993 Mar 1-3;11(1):1-24.


The National Institutes of Health Consensus Development Conference on Early Identification of Hearing Impairment was convened to address (1) the advantages of early identification of hearing impairment and the consequences of late identification of hearing impairment; (2) the issue of which children should be screened for hearing impairment and when; (3) the advantages and disadvantages of current screening methods; (4) the question of which model for hearing screening and followup is preferred; and (5) future directions for research in diagnosis and management of hearing impairment in infants and young children. Following 2 days of presentations by experts and discussion by the audience, a consensus panel weighed the evidence and prepared their consensus statement. Among their findings, the panel concluded that (1) all infants admitted to the neonatal intensive care unit be screened for hearing loss prior to discharge; (2) universal screening be implemented for all infants within the first 3 months of life; (3) the preferred model for screening should begin with an evoked otoacoustic emissions test and should be followed by an auditory brainstem response test for all infants who fail the evoked otoacoustic emissions test; (4) comprehensive intervention and management programs must be an integral part of a universal screening program; (5) universal neonatal screening should not be a replacement for ongoing surveillance throughout infancy and early childhood; and (6) education of primary caregivers and primary health care providers on the early signs of hearing impairment is essential.

Publication types

  • Consensus Development Conference
  • Consensus Development Conference, NIH
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Child, Preschool
  • Hearing Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Hearing Disorders / prevention & control
  • Hearing Tests
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Mass Screening
  • Neonatal Screening
  • Research
  • Risk Factors
  • United States