Preschool hearing screening in Sweden. An evaluation of current practices and a presentation of new national guidelines

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Abstract

Objectives: As the various regional authorities responsible for health care in Sweden operate independently, no knowledge was available on pre-school hearing screening available to children living in different parts of the country. The aim of this study was to carry out a survey to ascertain how preschool hearing screening was performed in the various regions of Sweden. An objective of the present paper was also to present the uniform national guidelines for pre-school hearing screening that were launched by health authorities and were based on this study. A follow-up investigation was performed to ascertain whether the new guidelines were well accepted and followed throughout the country. Methods: A questionnaire was sent to 25 physicians responsible for child health care centers in all 21 regions throughout the whole country. The questionnaire included detailed questions on hearing screening in preschool children. New national guidelines were introduced in cooperation with health authorities and providers of preventive child health care. After two and four years, questionnaires were sent to the same recipients to determine whether changes in practice in pre-school hearing screening had been implemented, and to obtain information about experiences with the new guidelines. Results: Sixteen of 21 regions practiced universal hearing screening of 4-yearolds. Many different protocols were used. Professionals at child health care centers expressed a need for national guidelines for pre-school hearing screening. At the two and four-year follow-ups, one more region had introduced universal hearing screening of 4-year-olds, while two regions were planning to introduce it in 2019. The new national guidelines were well accepted and used throughout the country. Conclusion: There was a great variability in how pre-school hearing screening was performed in Sweden. Efforts are being made to provide uniform pre-school hearing screening. Cooperation between professionals in hearing health and health authorities is needed in order to broaden the use of universal pre-school hearing screening and to implement the new national guidelines.

Detaljer

Författare
Enheter & grupper
Forskningsområden

Ämnesklassifikation (UKÄ) – OBLIGATORISK

  • Oto-rino-laryngologi
Originalspråkengelska
Sidor (från-till)70-75
Antal sidor6
TidskriftInternational Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology
Volym110
StatusPublished - 2018 jul 1
PublikationskategoriForskning
Peer review utfördJa