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School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
Clinical and State-wide Services, Queensland Health, Queensland Government, Queensland, Australia
Publication date: 2012-09-30
Corresponding author
Rachael Beswick   

Rachael Beswick, Level 13, Block 7, Cnr Herston & Bowen Bridge Rds, Herston, Queensland 4029, Australia, e-mail: Rachael_Beswick@health.qld.gov.au
J Hear Sci 2012;2(3):57-65
The Joint Committee on Infant Hearing (JCIH) of the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends targeted surveillance of at-risk infants using a risk factor registry, in conjunction with parent and/or professional monitoring to detect hearing loss that develops after newborn hearing screening. However, criticisms of these recommendations are emerging as targeted surveillance programs are costly, resource intensive, have poor follow-up rates, and lack evidence of best practice. The purpose of the current paper is to provide recommendations for risk factor registries incorporated within targeted surveillance programs.

Recommendations provided in this document were developed by combining the results of previous research, done with a systematic review of the literature, together with a comprehensive evaluation of a targeted surveillance program in Queensland, Australia.

Recommendations are as follows. Children with the risk factors of family history or craniofacial anomalies should have their hearing monitored, whereas children with the risk factor of low birth weight should not. Children with the risk factors of syndrome or prolonged ventilation should potentially have their hearing monitored; however, the evidence is not definitive. Equally, children with bacterial meningitis, hyperbilirubinemia, or professional concern as a risk factor may potentially not need their hearing monitored, but again the evidence is not definitive. For the risk factors of severe asphyxia and congenital infection, the evidence was inconclusive and/or conflicting, so no recommendations are made.

More research is needed to further inform evidence-based clinical policy recommendations for hearing loss detection in early childhood.

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