Clinical correlation between hearing impairment and developmental delay in infants: a prospective cohort study


  • Geethu Sukumarapilla Department of Paediatrics, Dr. Somervel CSI Medical College, Trivandrum, India
  • Sharanabasappa S Dhanwadkar Department of Paediatrics, DM Wayanad Institute of Medical Science, Kerala, India
  • Shibily Ruhman M. Department of Paediatrics, Dr. Somervel CSI Medical College, Trivandrum, India



Automated auditory brainstem response (AABR), American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), Automated brainstem response (ABR), Auditory neuropathy (AN), Brainstem evoked response audiometry (BERA), Central auditory processing disorder (CAPD)


Background: Significant hearing loss is a common disorder at birth, occurring in 1 to 6 per 1000 newborns. Hearing loss leads to delayed language development, difficulties with behavior and psychosocial interactions, and poor academic achievement. Universal newborn hearing screening (UNHS) identifies congenital hearing loss at an earlier age, allowing for earlier interventions. This study aims to assess hearing of all newborns in our hospital, and to find the prevalence of hearing impairment to find out the delay in development for those babies with hearing impairment, and its correlation.

Methods: A prospective cohort study conducted among 1000 newborns in our hospital that were screened for hearing loss. Hearing impaired babies were followed up and developmental assessment was done.

Results: The prevalence of hearing impairment was found to be 0.5%. All the hearing impaired term new born had developmental delay in all four domains.

Conclusions: Hearing impairment is a significant problem in newborn. Hearing impairment can cause delayed development in all domains. So all newborns should undergo hearing screening at birth, and should be kept under follow-up for developmental assessment.


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