Health & Disability

April 21, 2008 • Volume 5, Number 2


Results of Newborn Screening for Hearing Loss: Impact on the Family in the First 2 Years of Life
(This manuscript is in press at the Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine March 2008)


To determine whether there was increased stress and impact on the family for mothers of infants whose screening results and subsequent diagnostic findings indicated hearing loss (HL) and mothers of infants with a positive screening result who subsequently pass the rescreening (false-positive group), compared with mothers of infants who pass the initial screening (control group), when their children were aged 6 to 10, 12 to 16 and 18 to 24 months.

Design: Matched cohort analytic study

Setting: Home visits

Patients/Participants: Mothers of 33 infants with confirmed HL, 42 infants with a false-positive screening results, and 70 infants in the control group.

Interventions: Screening for HL.

Outcome Measures: Scores on the Parenting Stress Index and the Impact on the Family - Adapted Version G.

Results: Mothers of infants in the false-positive group did not report increased stress or impact. Mothers of infants with HL reported greater financial impact, total impact and caretaker burden compared with mothers of infants in the control group. In multivariate analysis of the total cohort, the presence of HL was associated with increased total impact on the family; a neonatal intensive care unit stay was associated with increased stress and total impact on the family; and older maternal age and greater family resources were associated with decreased stress and total impact on the family.

Conclusions: Although a false-positive result or a pass of the screening for HL was not associated with increased stress or impact, identification of HL was independently associated with greater total impact on the family when the child was 18 to 24 months of age,

[Contact: Betty Vohr, MD, The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University
Providence, Rhode Island, PI of RTOI 2006-06-07, Language and Behavioral Outcome of Children with Congenital Hearing Loss: Family Perspective Study II - A Comparison of Minimal vs. Moderate-to-Profound Hearing Loss]