Written By Oklahoma Newborn Hearing Screening Program & Oklahoma Audiology Taskforce

Recap on the last 18 months of OKAAP Collaboration

A great deal has changed over the past 10 years in identifying children with hearing loss – including (changes in) the role of physicians in this process. Therefore the Oklahoma Newborn Hearing Screening Program collaborated with the National Center for Hearing Assessment and Management (NCHAM) at Utah State University, Boys Town National Research Hospital, and the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center – Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders to conduct a statewide survey to understand what physicians in Oklahoma think, know, and feel about newborn hearing screening and follow up.  Results from the survey have been used over the last 18 months by the Oklahoma Newborn Hearing Screening Program (NHSP)/Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (EHDI) program to develop resources for Oklahoma physicians and their patients related to newborn hearing screening and follow up. Nine articles have been written for the Oklahoma American Academy of Pediatrics (OKAAP) E-Newsletter in 2014-2015. Additional articles and topics will be provided throughout 2016.


In 2005 Boys Town and the National Center for Hearing Assessment and Management (NCHAM) collaborated with the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) to survey a national sample of almost 2,000 physicians regarding their “knowledge, attitudes, and practices” related to Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (EHDI) programs. The purpose of this self-reported survey was to understand the extent to which physicians were knowledgeable about infant hearing screening practices, their attitudes about screening effectiveness, and what actions they employ within their practices to support EHDI. Survey findings guided many of the trainings and resources created by AAP, NCHAM, Boys Town, and EHDI coordinators to support the role of physicians.

In late 2012, the national AAP EHDI Task Force encouraged NCHAM and Boys Town to conduct a follow-up survey to determine if there have been changes in the last 7 years as well as collect additional information. Since the initial results clearly revealed that physician involvement is one of the keys to having an effective EHDI program, additional states were asked to participate in the project to determine a nationwide view of physician’s knowledge and understanding.

In January 2013, the Oklahoma Newborn Hearing Screening Program (NHSP) identified 2,499 physicians currently serving Oklahoma pediatric patients. Surveys and postage-paid return envelopes were provided by NCHAM. The NHSP mailed the hard copy questionnaires that included a link for a Survey Monkey response as well. Two weeks after the original mailing, the NHSP sent follow-up postcards to thank those who already completed the questionnaire and to provide a reminder for those who had not. NCHAM and Boys Town worked together to analyze the state-specific results and provided Oklahoma with a summary. All individual responses were kept confidential.

Upon receipt of the results, the NHSP partnered with an Audiology doctoral candidate to compare the 2005 findings with Oklahoma’s 2013 results. Overall, when Oklahoma physicians were compared with providers throughout the natiothe project revealed similar outcomes across the two surveys. Of the doctors who responded to the survey, over 55% indicated their medical training did NOT adequately prepare them to meet the needs of infants with hearing loss. To meet this need, the Oklahoma Audiology Taskforce (OKAT) developed resources for physicians and their patients related to newborn hearing screening/follow-up. The following articles were published through the OK Pediatrician E-Newsletter: A publication of the Oklahoma Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics (OKAAP).

Newsletters were sent to OKAAP members via email and stored at the following location: http://dev.graphicsofdistinction.com/okaap/okaap-newsletters/

** SPECIAL NOTE: To receive a copy of the previous articles in this series, please send an email to NewBornScreen@health.ok.gov **

OKAAP Newsletter Articles:Knowledge, Attitudes, and Practices of Oklahoma Physicians about EHDI Systems
Topic Author Publication Months
National & Oklahoma Survey Results    (Project Overview) Oklahoma Newborn Hearing Screening (NHSP) June 2014
Physician Levels of Trust Patricia BurkOklahoma NHSP Sept-Oct 2014
Hearing Screenings in PCP Offices Dr. Sandra ParkePediatric Audiologist

Dr. Merl Simmons


Nov-Dec 2014
Confidence in Explaining the Newborn Hearing Screening Process Dr. Miranda SealPediatric Audiologist January-February 2015 
Cochlear Implant Candidacy Dr. Betty S. TsaiOtolaryngologist March-April 2015
AAP EHDI Follow-up Steps Dr. Merl SimmonsPediatrician May-June 2015
Risk Factors and Delayed-Onset Hearing Loss Oklahoma Newborn Hearing Screening July-August 2015
Mild and Unilateral Hearing Loss Dr. Deborah EarleyPediatric Audiologist September-October 2015
Children with Hearing Loss:  Age of Diagnosis Matters! (Age of Diagnosis) Dr. Jessica BallardAudiologist November-December 2015


According to the national AAP EHDI, “Hearing loss is the most common congenital condition in the United States (US). Each year, an estimated three in 1,000 infants are born in the US with moderate, severe, or profound hearing loss resulting in delayed development in language, learning, and speech. Children who are deaf or hard of hearing face a potential developmental emergency and should be identified as quickly as possible so that appropriate intervention services can be started.”


To assist Oklahoma providers in 2016, additional articles will be provided to discuss topics including: Degrees of Hearing loss, Impact of hearing loss on speech and language development, Early Identification, Communication Methodologies, Genetics Referrals for Children with Hearing Loss, Hearing aids, bone anchored solutions, FM systems, soundfields and special fittings. Please let the Oklahoma Audiology Taskforce know of additional topics that you are interested in learning more about.