The primary objective of this study was to determine the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on newborn hearing screening guideline adherence and the respective rates of screening, diagnosis, and intervention. This was a review of newborn hearing screening data compiled from the Departments of Health of six states for the time periods of March-September 2019 and March-September 2020. Endpoints included the numbers of live births as well as the numbers and timeframes of screening, diagnostic, and intervention events. Two-tailed paired t-tests were performed to determine statistical significance. 181,662 births in six states were assessed. Compared to March-September 2019, March-September 2020 had a significantly lower mean rate of screening before 1 month of age (97.3% vs. 96.2%, p < 0.001) and mean screen rate overall (98.9% vs. 98.0%, p < 0.001). Additionally, the 2020 time period had a significantly higher mean rate of patients lost to follow up for referral to early intervention (14.7% vs. 28.9%, p = 0.005). The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on the newborn hearing screening programs of several states in the Western US. This information holds significant implications for the current evaluation of these newborn hearing screening programs.
Blaseg, N. A. Williams, H. M. Jepperson, S. & Messersmith, J. J. (2021). The Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Newborn Hearing Screening Programs in Western States. Journal of Early Hearing Detection and Intervention, 6(2), 62-69. DOI: https://doi.org/10.26077/c3c7-529c
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