Rurality Effect on Michigan Newborn Hearing Screening.

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The Laryngoscope


OBJECTIVES: Evaluate the effect of rurality on newborn hearing screen outcomes in Michigan.

METHODS: Patients in the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) Newborn Hearing Screening database that failed or did not receive their initial screen from 2015 to 2020 were evaluated. Using the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural-Urban Continuum Codes (RUCC), patients were assigned a 1-9 code based on the population of their zip code, with 1 being the most urban and 9 being the most rural and outcomes between these patients were compared.

RESULTS: There were 34,928 patients initially identified. Patients that had follow-up testing after a failed NBHS had a slightly higher RUCC than those that did not follow-up, 2.3 versus 2.2, respectively (p < 0.001). There was a significant difference between those that refused screening, with a mean RUCC of 4.2, and those that had a failed initial screen having a mean RUCC of 2.1 (p < 0.001). Similarly, those with equipment failure had a higher mean RUCC, 2.8, compared to those that had screening completed (p < 0.001).

CONCLUSIONS: More rural areas are more likely to refuse a newborn hearing screen as well as have equipment failure options. There was no difference in rurality scores of those that had a follow-up screen after a failure and those that did not.

LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: IV Laryngoscope, 2023.





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