Neonatal Hearing Screening Impact in Age of Intervention in Children with Hearing Loss in a Public Service
Introduction: Special attention has been given to early identification of hearing loss in recent times. It is necessary to know how these efforts have been effective in the anticipation of the timing of the intervention, especially in the Brazilian context.
Objective: The objective of this study was to analyze the mean age of the first hearing aid fitting in children assisted by a public service in Porto Alegre (Rio Grande do Sul), Brazil. Methods: It was conducted a survey of medical charts of children aged from 0 to 12 years old who had the first adaptation of hearing aids, in the period from 2004 to 2012. Children’s medical charts were separated into two groups: those that were submitted to the newborn hearing screening and those who were not.
Results: Of the 453 medical charts that were surveyed, 78 children were submitted to the newborn hearing screening. This group has entered the service with the mean age of 1 year and 3 months and the hearing aid fitting was performed at the mean age of 1 year and 8 months. The other group has entered the service with the mean age of 7 years and 4 months and had their first hearing aid fitting with 7 years and 10 months of age.
Conclusion: The mean age at hearing aid fitting is still below expectation. However, children who were submitted to newborn hearing screening received hearing aids earlier compared to those who were not.
Keywords: Hearing loss, neonatal screening, hearing aids.