The Sensitivity of Adolescent School-Based Hearing Screens Is Significantly Improved by Adding High Frequencies

Deepa Sekhar, Thomas R. Zalewski, Jessica S. Beiler, Beth Czarnecki, Ashley L. Barr, Tonya King, Ian Paul

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

High frequency hearing loss (HFHL), often related to hazardous noise, affects one in six U.S. adolescents. Yet, only 20 states include school-based hearing screens for adolescents. Only six states test multiple high frequencies. Study objectives were to (1) compare the sensitivity of state school-based hearing screens for adolescents to gold standard sound-treated booth testing and (2) consider the effect of adding multiple high frequencies and two-step screening on sensitivity/specificity. Of 134 eleventh-grade participants (2013–2014), 43 of the 134 (32%) did not pass sound-treated booth testing, and 27 of the 43 (63%) had HFHL. Sensitivity/specificity of the most common protocol (1,000, 2,000, 4,000 Hz at 20 dB HL) for these hearing losses was 25.6% (95% confidence interval [CI] = [13.5, 41.2]) and 85.7% (95% CI [76.8, 92.2]), respectively. A protocol including 500, 1,000, 2,000, 4,000, 6,000 Hz at 20 dB HL significantly improved sensitivity to 76.7% (95% CI [61.4, 88.2]), p <.001. Two-step screening maintained specificity (84.6%, 95% CI [75.5, 91.3]). Adolescent school-based hearing screen sensitivity improves with high frequencies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)416-422
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of School Nursing
Volume32
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Nursing (miscellaneous)

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