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FAQ: What are the Obstacles to Implementing Statewide Universal Newborn Hearing Screening Programs? Mother, Father & Infant
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Last Modifed: 09/30/2010 

A: In 1998 and 1999 surveys, State Coordinators of Early Hearing Identification were asked "What are the most significant obstacles to establishing (or maintaining) universal newborn hearing screening programs for all babies born in your state?" The responses, ranked from most serious to least serious based on 1999 data, are shown below. The obstacles were rated on a 5 point scale, from 1 (Definitely not an obstacle) to 5 (An extremely serious obstacle):


Potential Obstacles 1999 Results 1998 Results
n = 47 n = 35
Rank Mean Rating Rank Mean Rating
Unwillingness of third-party payers to reimburse for newborn screening 1 3.07 1 3.5
Hospitals are not willing to add another procedure 2 2.94 3 2.9
Equipment is too expensive 3 2.84 2 3.32
Lack of appropriate hearing diagnostic services for infants and young children 4 2.74 5 2.7
False-alarm rates are too high 5 2.56 4 2.71
Short hospital stays for newborns and mothers 6 2.5 6 2.58
Lack of appropriate early intervention services in the state 7 2.34 8 2.21
Physicians' opposition to hospital-based screening 8 2.22 7 2.32
Screening procedures are too complex and time-consuming 9 2.13 10 2.02
Research on the effectiveness and feasibility of newborn hearing screening not convincing enough 10 1.97 9 2.11
The benefits of early identification have not been proven 11 1.81 11 1.73
Parents are opposed 12 1.48 12 1.72


National Center for Hearing Assessment & Management (NCHAM)
Utah State University -  2615 Old Main Hill - Logan, Utah 84322
Tel: 435.797.3584
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