Alison Collins 1,2, A-F
Rachael Beswick 2, A,D-E
Carlie Driscoll 1, A,D-E
Joseph Kei 1, E
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Hearing Research Unit for Children, Division of Audiology, School of Health & Rehabilitation Sciences, The University of Queensland, Brisbane 4072, Australia
Children’s Health Queensland Hospital and Health Service, Child and Youth Community Health Service, 10 Chapel Street, Nundah 4012, Queensland, Australia
A - Research concept and design; B - Collection and/or assembly of data; C - Data analysis and interpretation; D - Writing the article; E - Critical revision of the article; F - Final approval of article;
Publication date: 2019-09-30
Corresponding author
Alison Collins   

Alison Collins, School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, The University of Queensland, Brisbane 4072, Australia; email:, tel. +61 401 822 382
J Hear Sci 2019;9(3):24-36
Universal Newborn Hearing Screening (UNHS) attempts to identify children with a permanent, bilateral, moderate or greater hearing loss at birth. However, children who are referred from UNHS programs may have conductive hearing loss (CHL), sensorineural, or mixed hearing loss. The aim of this review was to investigate the prevalence, sub-classifications, audiological diagnosis, and medical management of CHL within UNHS programs.

Material and Methods:
A systematic literature search was completed in the scientific databases PubMed, CINAHL, and Embase. Studies were reviewed with reference to the inclusion criteria, then graded to assess the internal and external validity, leaving 25 studies for review.

The prevalence of conductive hearing loss ranged from 0.4% to 64.5%. ‘Genetic’ and ‘Permanent’ were the only two sub-classifications of CHL identified, with no uniform terminology evident. Given CHL is not a target condition of UNHS, audiological assessment was consistent with the diagnosis of Permanent Childhood Hearing Loss (PCHL). There was little evidence of audiological review, onward referrals, or medical management for CHL within UNHS programs. Of the evidence obtained, no alternative pathway was found for children identified with CHL through UNHS.

In view of the limited evidence for CHL within UNHS, further investigation into the prevalence, sub-classification, and appropriate management of CHL within a UNHS program is recommended to better guide evidence-based assessment and management of these children.

This research did not receive any specific grant from funding agencies in the public, commercial, or not for profit sectors.
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