Universal Newborn Hearing Screening In Midwifery Education: A Survey

Kristin Dilaj, Sydney Bednarz, Shannon B Palmer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: Universal newborn hearing screening has been adopted by all 50 states in the United States. However, there is currently a lack of knowledge about how health care providers learn about universal newborn hearing screening during their education programs. The purpose of this study was to identify whether midwifery education programs in the United States currently include information regarding universal newborn hearing screening in the standard curricula and, if so, what specific information is covered. Methods: A survey that assessed whether specific topics related to universal newborn hearing screening are presented during midwifery education was sent to directors of midwifery education programs. Results: Seventy-one midwifery education program directors were contacted, and the response rate was 38% (27 surveys). Most respondents reported that universal newborn hearing screening is discussed in the program, with the amount of time spent covering these topics varying considerably. Programs provide information about the midwife's role in universal newborn hearing screening, legal obligation to provide hearing screening information, and tests used to complete universal newborn hearing screening. How to complete the hearing screening, counseling for parents about results, and follow-up after a newborn does not pass the screening are topics that were not often discussed. There was no influence of program type or program length on the universal newborn hearing screening content discussed. Discussion: The majority of midwifery education program directors that responded indicated that their programs include information about universal newborn hearing screening to midwifery students. There is a need for further information and resources specific to universal newborn hearing screening. Providing additional information to midwifery students about newborn hearing screening may result in increased awareness and education for families.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)435-441
JournalJournal of Midwifery and Women's Health
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2016


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