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Cohort study
Universal newborn hearing screening improves quality of life in children aged 3–5 years but does not show a clear relationship with spoken language skills
  1. E M Fitzpatrick,
  2. A Durieux-Smith
  1. University of Ottawa, Canada and the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
  1. Correspondence to E M Fitzpatrick
    University of Ottawa, 401 Smyth Road (3071), Ottawa, ON K1H 8M5, Canada; elizabeth.fitzpatrick{at}

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Newborn hearing screening (NHS) has been widely adopted as a public health intervention to improve developmental outcomes in children with congenital hearing loss. In 2008, the United States Preventive Services Task Force concluded that there is good evidence to support the effectiveness of NHS for the early detection of infant hearing loss.1 The evidence for a direct relationship between early detection and better language is less conclusive.1,,3


Korver and colleagues undertook a study in the context of a new NHS initiative in the Netherlands which replaced the previous distraction hearing screening test at 9 months of age. The study investigated the effectiveness of NHS relative to distraction screening and compared developmental outcomes and quality of life in children as a function of type of screening program. This multicenter prospective cohort study targeted healthy babies, identified from 2003 to 2005 with a …

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  • Competing interests None.