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Epidemiology and Health 2018;e2018044.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4178/epih.e2018044    [Accepted] Published online September 14, 2018.
Current status of newborn hearing screening in the southeastern region of Korea
You Sun Chung1  , Su-Kyoung Park2 
1Departments of Otorhinolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Gyengju Hospital, Dongguk University College of Medicine, Gyeongju, Korea
2Department of Otorhinolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Kangnam Sacred Heart Hospital, Hallym University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
Correspondence  Su-Kyoung Park ,Tel: 82-2-829-5217 , Fax: 82-2-842-5217, Email: ashock@daum.net
Received: June 28, 2018  Accepted after revision: September 14, 2018
To analyze the current status and problems of hearing screening tests for newborns of low income class in the southeastern region of Korea.
This study analyzed the data of the Ministry of Health and Welfare's project on the early detection of hearing loss in low income class newborns from the southeastern region of Korea (2011 to 2015).
The referral rate was 1.33%, 1.69%, and 1.27% in Daegu, Gyeongbuk, and Ulsan, respectively. The confirmation test rate was 36.09%, 23.38%, and 52.94% in Daegu, Gyeongbuk, and Ulsan, respectively. The incidence of hearing loss (adjusted) was 0.41%, 0.62%, and 0.41% in Daegu, Gyeongbuk, and Ulsan, respectively. After confirming the hearing loss, newborns with hearing handicaps were mostly lost to follow up, and rehabilitation, such as hearing aids or cochlear implants, were not used. The screening tests were performed within one month of birth, and the confirmation tests were performed within three months of birth. On the other hand, the groups with the risk factor for hearing loss took more than three months to reach the date of confirmation in Gyeongbuk and Ulsan.
Hearing screening tests on newborns of low income families issued with a free coupon in the southeastern area were conducted but the referred newborns after the screening tests were not well linked to the confirmation test hospitals, and hearing rehabilitation was generally not performed well after the hearing loss was confirmed. Therefore, newborns with a handicap in those areas could not develop their hearing abilities.
Keywords: Newborn; Hearing loss; Hearing tests; Aural rehabilitation


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