A Critical Review of the Role of Neonatal Hearing Screening in the Detection of Congenital Hearing Impairment
There are approximately 900 children born a year in the UK with significant permanent hearing impairment likely to affect their own and their family's quality of life. Before the introduction of the Newborn Hearing Screening Programme (NHSP) services would have missed about 400 of these children by 1½ years of age, and about 200 of these children by 3½ years of age. Hearing impaired children identified late are at risk of substantial delay in their acquistion of language and communication skills, with consequent longer-term risk to education achievement, mental health and quality of life.
The NHS Newborn Hearing Screening Programme would never have been commissioned and implemented in England without a great deal of research and scientific activity that proved that early detection of hearing impairment is feasible and cost effective.
Much of this research was brought together in the Health Technology Assessment 1997 report that provided the evidence base for, and led to the introduction of, universal newborn hearing screening in England.
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