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The Impact of the Lack of Early Intervention for Infants with Hearing Loss. Donna C. Maselli, RN, MPH Connecticut Department of Public Health Hartford, CT. Faculty Disclosure Information.

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the impact of the lack of early intervention for infants with hearing loss

The Impact of the Lack of Early Intervention for Infants with Hearing Loss

Donna C. Maselli, RN, MPH

Connecticut Department of Public Health

Hartford, CT

faculty disclosure information
Faculty Disclosure Information

In the past 12 months, I have not had a significant financial interest or other relationship with the manufacturer(s) of the product(s) or provider(s) of the service(s) that will be discussed in my presentation.

This presentation will not include discussion of pharmaceuticals or devices that have not been approved by the FDA.

newborn hearing screening history in ct
Newborn Hearing Screening History in CT
  • Legislation to screen “high risk” infants since 1985
    • Primarily NICU babies
  • Well babies were not routinely screened
    • Half the children with PCHL do not exhibit risk factors (NCHAM, 2002)
  • 1994 Strong lobbying began to implement Universal Newborn Hearing Screening (UNHS)
    • CT Newborn Hearing Screening Task Force formed
ct legislation
CT Legislation

19a-59 amendment in part reads….

“Institutions providing childbirth services shall, no later than July 1, 2000, include a UNHS program as part of it’s standard of care.”

  • Initial legislation was for July 1, 1999

Source: Connecticut State Statutes

purpose of unhs
Purpose of UNHS
  • To provide early hearing detection & intervention (EHDI) to infants, in an attempt to minimize speech and language delays
    • EHDI and treatment before 6 months of age facilitate a child’s healthy development consistent with age and cognitive ability
program goals
Program Goals
  • Hearing screening at birth, before discharge
  • Diagnostic testing within 2 months of initial screen
  • Referral to Early Intervention (Birth-to-Three)

by 4 months

screening methods
Screening Methods
  • First screen
    • May be Otoacoustic emissions (OAE) or Automatic Brainstem Response (ABR)
second screening
Second Screening
  • Second Screen
    • Repeated before discharge if infant does not pass the first screen
    • ABR screen
  • 1/06 ABR screening for all NICU infants
diagnostic testing centers
Diagnostic Testing Centers
  • DPH Identified Centers for Follow-up Testing
    • Used CT UNHS Task Force ‘Best Practice Standards’
    • Surveyed all CT licensed audiologists
    • Identified 16 Diagnostic Testing Centers
  • Mechanism to report to DPH
  • Referral to E.I.
‘Best Practice Recommendations for Diagnostic Hearing Testing of Infants’CT Newborn Hearing Screening Task Force
  • Auditory Brainstem Response [ABR (a.k.a BAERS, BAER)]
    • Threshold measurement with frequency specific tone bursts
    • Threshold measurement with bone conduction ABR
    • Sedation in a medical facilitywhere the child can be appropriately monitored
  • Immittance Testing
    • Tympanometry with high frequency probe tone greater than 1000 Hz
    • Acoustic reflex testing
best practice standards cont
Best Practice Standards cont…
  • Completed by 2 months of age
  • Conducted by a “pediatric” audiologist
  • A battery of tests based on
    • Screening results
    • Medical history
    • Risk factors
  • Include an otological evaluation
    • May be conducted at different facility and time
best practice standards cont1
Best Practice Standards cont…
  • Otoacoustic Emissions (OAE)
    • Transient evoked or distortion product
  • Behavioral Audiometry
    • May be useful in addition to the above
  • Reporting of results to DPH
  • Refer to Birth-to-Three
degree of hearing loss
Degree of Hearing loss
  • Mild 26-40 dB HL
  • Moderate 41-60 dB HL
  • Severe 61-80 dB HL
  • Profound 80+
early intervention services in ct
Early Intervention Services in CT
  • Mandated reporting (CT General Statutes Sec. 17a-248d)
    • Report within 2 days of identifying child
    • Suspected or at risk of having developmental delay
  • Infants referred through Child Development Infoline
ct early intervention eligibility
CT Early Intervention Eligibility
  • Birth-to-Three Eligibility
    • 40db or greater, bilateral hearing loss
    • Exclusions!
  • 27 states that have language in their legislation that includes either unilateral, mild or "any" hearing loss
mild hearing loss
Mild Hearing Loss
  • Will miss 25-40% of what is said & 50% in noisy situation
  • May not hear consonants such as /s/, /f/, /th/, /p/, /h/, /g/, /ch/, /sh/, /z/, /v/
  • Cannot hear plurals or contractions
  • Unable to learn incidental learning “common sense”
  • 37% with slight-mild hearing loss fail a grade, typically 1st (Bess et. AL. 1998)
unilateral hearing loss
Unilateral Hearing Loss
  • Difficulty hearing speech if speaking from behind or with background noise
  • Difficulty localizing speech
  • 35% fail one or more grades, typically 1st
  • 27% ages 1-3 present with language delay
attempts to change ct birth to three eligibility
Attempts to Change CT Birth-to-Three Eligibility
  • To include unilateral and bilateral with any degree
  • Multi level support
    • DPH, DSS, UNHS Task Force, Dx Centers
  • Birth-to-Three Medical Advisory meeting
    • Show us the data that says these kids would benefit from E.I.
the impact of the lack of early intervention for infants with hearing loss1
“The Impact of the Lack of Early Intervention for Infants with Hearing Loss”
  • MD/MPH Student Internship at DPH (Summer 2005)
  • Purpose of the Study
    • Assess speech/language developmental outcomes of children with hearing loss who did not receive Birth-to-Three services
  • Hypothesis
    • Children with hearing loss who did not receive E.I. services will show evidence of delayed speech/language by ages 3, 4 or 5 years
  • Selection Criteria
    • Used UNHS data
    • Infants born between 7/1/00 - 12/31/03
      • Now 2-5 years old
      • 80% of the child’s ability to learn speech, language and related cognitive skills is established by 36 months (White, 2000)
    • Bilateral with mild in at least one ear
    • Unilateral, moderate to profound hearing loss
  • 94 Records met criteria
    • Letters sent to families
    • Requested parental consent to review audiology records
    • 22 consents received
  • Records reviewed for:
    • Parental concern
    • An assessment of speech/language
    • Referral for speech evaluation
    • Referral to B23
  • 77.3 % Recommended ENT consultation
  • 59% No documented audiology visit after ENT
  • 68.2% No documented audiology visit after age 2
  • 90.9% Status of speech/language development unknown
  • 9.1% Had documented delay

Unable to ascertain if lack of early intervention is associated with speech/language delays due to:

  • Lack of Audiology visit after ENT referral (59%)
  • Lack of reference to speech/language in audiology record (90.9%)
  • Lack of documented follow-up after age 2 (68.2%)
    • The absence of visits after age 2 may be due to
      • PCP conducts the screenings in the office
      • Family moved from the region
      • The child is not receiving any care
      • Audiological assessments are being performed by the ENT
so what do we do
So What Do We Do?
  • ENT’s
    • Presented findings at annual ENT Association meeting
      • Decrease numbers of undetermined type
      • Encourage collaboration between diagnosing audiologist, PCP and ENT
      • Implemented ENT Reporting to DPH
so what do we do1
So What Do We Do?
  • Audiologists
    • Presented findings at Hearing Screening Symposium
    • Addressed need for speech/language assessment along with audiological testing
    • Revised reporting form to collect name of ENT
    • Encouraged better medical home collaboration
so what do we do2
So What Do We Do?
  • Families
    • Can contact study families to assess follow-up
      • Ascertain if parental concern
      • Confirm audiological follow-up
    • Implementing Listen & Learn Program
      • Q 6 mo. Follow-up for infants not eligible for E.I.
      • Speech/language assessment
      • Parental education
      • Hearing evaluation