Community-based infant hearing screening in a developing country: parental uptake of follow-up services

Olusanya, Bolajoko O.; Akinyemi, Oladele O.
January 2009
BMC Public Health;2009, Vol. 9 Issue 1, p1
Academic Journal
Background: Universal newborn hearing screening is now considered an essential public health care for the early detection of disabling life-long childhood hearing impairment globally. However, like any health interventions in early childhood, parental support and participation is essential for achieving satisfactory uptake of services. This study set out to determine maternal/infant sociodemographic factors associated with follow-up compliance in community-based infant hearing screening programmes in a developing country. Methods: After health educational/counselling sessions, infants attending routine childhood immunisation clinics at four primary care centres were enrolled into a two-stage infant hearing screening programme consisting of a first-stage screening with transient-evoked otoacoustic emissions and second-stage screening with automated auditory brainstem response. Infants referred after the second-stage screening were scheduled for diagnostic evaluation within three months. Maternal and infant factors associated with completion of the hearing screening protocol were determined with multivariable logistic regression analysis. Results: No mother declined participation during the study period. A total of 285 out of 2,003 eligible infants were referred after the first-stage screening out of which 148 (51.9%) did not return for the second-stage, while 32 (39.0%) of the 82 infants scheduled for diagnostic evaluation defaulted. Mothers who delivered outside hospitals were significantly more likely to return for follow-up screening than those who delivered in hospitals (Odds ratio: 1.62; 95% confidence intervals: 0.98 - 2.70; p = 0.062). No other factors correlated with follow-up compliance for screening and diagnostic services. Conclusion: Place of delivery was the only factor that correlated albeit marginally with infant hearing screening compliance in this population. The likely influence of issues such as the number of return visits for follow-up services, ineffective tracking system and the prevailing unfavourable cultural perception towards childhood deafness on non-compliance independently or through these factors warrant further investigation.


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