Abstract OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to determine whether a failure of neonatal hearing screening affected the anxiety level of parents of high-risk infants. METHODS: Two hundred and eighty-eight parents of infants included in the neonatal hearing screening protocol of our Institution were tested with the Spielberger State-Trait Anxiety Inventory and with an open-question questionnaire investigating parents' attitude to hearing problems in their child, done at the time of audiological follow-up. 105 were parents of high-risk infants who had been discharged from neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) and 183 of low-risk infants discharged from well-baby nursery. RESULTS: No differences in anxiety levels were seen between parents of high-risk infants passing and failing neonatal hearing screening using homogeneous case-control pairs. Additionally, no differences in the level of anxiety were found between parents of high- and low-risk infants failing neonatal auditory screening. CONCLUSIONS: Failure of neonatal auditory screening does not affect the anxiety levels of parents of high-risk infants at post discharge from NICU. This finding is a key factor to be considered when evaluating the costs and benefits of tests for universal neonatal hearing screening.
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