Summary of Systematic Review

Hearing Screening in Newborns. Systematic Review of Accuracy, Effectiveness, and Effects of Interventions after Screening
Wolff, R., Hommerich, J., et al. (2009).
Archives of Disease in Childhood, [Epub ahead of print].
This review meets the criteria for a high-quality evidence-based systematic review.

Indicators of Review Quality:

The review states a clearly focused question or aim No
Criteria for inclusion of studies are provided Yes
Search strategy is described in sufficient detail for replication Yes
Included studies are assessed for study quality Yes
Quality assessments are reproducible Yes
Characteristics of the included studies are provided Yes

This is a systematic review of randomized and non-randomized controlled trials investigating the accuracy and effectiveness of hearing screening in newborns and investigating the effects of early intervention.

Question(s)/Aim(s) Addressed:
Question not specifically stated.

Children up to 10 years.

Otoacoustic emissions and/or auditory brainstem response.

Number of Studies Included:

Years Included:
Not stated. Most recently published study included was from 2007.


Permanent Childhood Hearing Loss

  • Screening/Assessment

    • Screening

      • General Findings

        • “There is a lack of high-quality evidence regarding all elements of newborn hearing screening” (p. 12).Because of the lack of reliable studies, possible harms from neonatal hearing screening could not be evaluated” (p. 11).

      • Physiologic

        • “No overall reliable evaluation is possible for the diagnostic accuracy of otoacoustic emissions (OAE) and auditory brain stem response (ABR) as initial screening tests, as there has been no evaluation in an adequately large group of children without risk factors” (p. 11).

  • Treatment

    • General Findings

      • "There is evidence that early treatment of children with hearing impairments is advantageous for language development. However, the included studies do not allow for any confident conclusions” (p. 11).

Sponsoring Body:
German Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG); Federal Joint Committee (Gemeinsamer Bundesausschuss)

Deafness, Hearing Loss, Early Hearing Detection and Intervention

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