Facts and figures newborn hearing screening in the Netherlands.

Number of children detected: with regard to bilateral hearing impairment, this number varies greatly over the years, as shown in the table below. This variation is lessened if the figure for those hearing impaired children that are detected each year in Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICU) is added to the numbers (www.isala.nl/gehoorscreening).

Number of children detected per year
 
 

 

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

2014 (incomplete database)

Newborns

184.634

184.915

184.397

180.060

175.959

171.341

175.181

Bilateral hearing impairment

136

163

115

99

119

113

109

Unilateral hearing impairment

96

82

76

88

91

87

84

A. Results of newborn hearing screening monitoring by Child Healthcare in 2014

Size of target group: 171.528 newborns
This is the total number of newborns in the Netherlands minus the number of children registered by the NICU as being eligible for a newborn hearing test from the NICUs.

Number of screening tests
1st round:     170.670 OAE tests
2nd round:        7209 OAE tests
3rd round:         2291 AABR tests

Participation rate
1st round:     99.5%
2nd round:    99.3%
3rd round:    99.9%

Percentage of referrals: 0.26%

 

B. Results of newborn hearing screening monitoring by Child Healthcare in 20135 (this includes the completed diagnostic results)

Detection rate for bilateral hearing impairment (40dB minimum): 0.07%
Detection rate for unilateral hearing impairment (40dB minimum): 0.05%

To determine the minimum prevalence in the Netherlands, the detection rates from the NICUs should be added to these figures.

International burden of disease:
One to three newborn children per 1.000 have permanent hearing impairment of at least 40dB in both ears.

Positive predictive value:
for unilateral and bilateral hearing impairment: 39%

in the case of bilateral loss during testing for bilateral hearing impairment: 66%

False-positive referrals: 0.19%
During the implementation period, the results of this diagnosis were studied in this group of “false positives”. In most cases, the individuals concerned were found to be suffering from temporary hearing impairment.

Timely intervention:
In 2012, it was possible to start interventions within six months in 92% of children with bilateral hearing impairment. This is a significant improvement over the implementation period, when the corresponding figure for these children was just 50% (Uilenburg N. Aanvang van interventie bij jonge kinderen met een gehoorverlies in 2010 (december 2014)).

However, the figure of 92% has limited value. Firstly, because in 43 of the 115 children who were eligible for hearing aids, no details were given of the date on which they started using the hearing aid. Moreover, this group is unlikely to be similar to the group of 72 children for whom such details were reported. Secondly, because family support is also a decisive factor in the success of hearing rehabilitation. Here, no details of the start date were recorded.