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February 2018Vol. 19, No. 1Sharing Screening Results With Early Care, Education Programs

A recent study published in the Journal of Early Hearing Detection and Intervention examines the extent to which pediatric primary care (PPC) providers share hearing and vision screening results with early care and education (ECE) programs. The study also analyzed providers' reports of being unable to assess hearing and vision among very young children.

The study sample comprised eight communities in Connecticut that responded to a request for participation in the Early Childhood Health Data pilot project. These communities all engaged in a minimum of two school-based or licensed center-based ECE programs. From these 8 communities, 26 ECE programs participated. The study reviewed a total of 4,119 early childhood health assessment records for children between the ages of 1 month and 6 years.

This study is a follow-up to the Early Childhood Health Data pilot project, which was designed to help community stakeholders in early childhood determine early childhood planning by using health data reported to ECE programs and to evaluate how the Connecticut Early Childhood Health Assessment (CECHA) supports communication between PPC providers and ECE programs. ECE programs electronically submitted de-identified copies of their health datasets in May 2013 and again in October 2014 for newly enrolled children. Researchers combined the datasets for aggregate analysis and extracted hearing and vision screening data from the aggregate dataset.

The study findings include the following:

  • Most PPC providers shared screening results with ECE programs.
  • Three-quarters of the CECHA records had hearing and vision screening information.
  • The programs were less likely to share results regarding younger children.
  • Programs were less likely to be able to assess the hearing or vision of younger children due to a variety of factors, including the child not cooperating and not having the proper instruments in the PPC office.

The findings of this study highlight the need for ECE programs to be vigilant about screening and reviewing health assessment forms, especially when PPC providers report that they were unable to perform the task; completing missing screenings; and reporting the results to the child's PPC. This will ensure that, between the two settings, the screenings are completed, especially for younger children.

Sharing hearing and vision screening information is crucial to being able to detect impairments that might hinder the child's development and early learning as well as to enable the development and implementation of services, programs, and accommodations that support families with children with sensory impairments.

"Hearing and Vision Screening in Pediatric Primary Care and the Sharing of Results With Early Care and Education Programs," by Susan J. Macary, Lisa Honigfeld, Margaret W. Berry, and Dorothy B. Wakefield (Journal of Early Hearing Detection and Intervention, 2), is available at