Knowledge, Attitude and Practices of Saudi Pediatricians Regarding Newborn Hearing Screening in Saudi Arabia

Ahmed Almutairi , Muteb Alosaimi , Nadeer Z. Albaik , Saif A. Abalkhail , Norah S. Al Aqili , Rayan H. Sabri , Hussain M. Alhiwaishil , Ahmed A. Baghdadi , Abdullatef A. Alenzi , Talal M.Althobaiti , Saif A. Alqahtani , Maha M. Alanazi , Khalid S.M. Albaqami , Ghadeer I. Sheteifi , Saad M. Al-Zahrani , Riyadh Alabbas

Abstract

Background: Late detection of permanent congenital and early and onset-hearing loss (PCEHL) severely affects linguistic, cognitive, and educational development in children. Routine newborn hearing screening (NHS) has provided opportunities for children under the DHH category to be identified shortly after birth. Pediatricians have the biggest role in undertaking the assessment and physical interventions on hearing among newborns. Methods: For this study, the participants who took part in the survey were Saudi pediatricians. The study design was based on a cross-sectional approach where convenience sampling was adopted as a technique for data collection. Questionnaires were used as the only tool for data collection. Results: From the study, the majority of respondents were male, registering up to 57.9%. From the survey, documenting the state of the NHS program in Saudi Arabia, it turns out that it is important to have a typical screening protocol, regarding the working national policy. Up to 47.7% of the respondents replied that hearing screening instigates parental concern and anxiety, contradicting other studies that assert the opposite. The respondents, however, articulated concerns about requiring additional information on some of the particular details that are related to NHS. However, majority of them (44.4%) were confident in explaining the process to the parents of the newborns. Conclusion: The study can be seen to shed light on the attitudes, existing knowledge, and practice levels amongst pediatricians in Saudi Arabia. It shows that any NHS program is considered profitable if timely and appropriate referrals can be made to ensure follow-ups.