Evaluation of a hearing screening questionnaire for use with Ecuadorian school-aged children

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International Journal of Audiology





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Objective: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the accuracy of a teacher-administered hearing screening questionnaire to detect hearing loss among first-grade Ecuadorian children in public schools. Design: A cross-sectional design was used to compare screening results from the teacher-administered questionnaire and pure-tone audiometry. Study sample: Children were randomly selected from 117 schools. The study was conducted in two phases to accommodate different school calendars in the country. Data for both screening methods were available for 4616 children. Results: For Phase 1, almost 90% who failed the questionnaire passed audiometry; and, 85% who failed audiometry passed the questionnaire. A revised questionnaire was used for Phase 2 and 70% who failed the questionnaire passed audiometry; and 85% who failed audiometry, passed the questionnaire. Of the 27 children identified in Phase 2 as having hearing loss at the time screening was done, 88.9% failed audiometry, but only 22.2% failed the questionnaire. Conclusions: Because there was little agreement between the questionnaire and the audiometry, it was recommended that the questionnaire not be used to screen Ecuadorian children for hearing loss. The results of this evaluation of the school hearing screening program provided the Ecuadorian government with important information to guide policy decisions.

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