Toolkit for Providers Serving Children with Hearing Loss
Tip #6: Use a Script to Give Information to Families after a Hearing Screen.
What We Learned:
• Families reported significant variation in the way hearing screening results were given to them in the birth hospital.
• Most families were given this information verbally, few were given the information in written form, and very few were given the information using both modalities.
• Families reported that they way in which they were informed whether their child had “passed” or “referred” on the screen made a big difference to how they thought about the screen result, and what they should do next.
• Families reported that if staff “downplayed” a ”refer” on a screen, stating that this was a common occurrence, and perhaps indicating that this was likely to be a false positive, families were less inclined to view either obtaining a re-screen, or a diagnostic test, as urgent.
What We Did:
• Developed “scripts” to guide providers in word choice when discussing screen results with families. Click here for a sample script in English and Spanish.
• Tested use of the scripts with providers and families at birthing hospitals.
• Gave families results of hearing screening in written as well as verbal form. Here are two examples of written screen results:
Screening Parent Notification Form
Questions for My Practice:
• Are staff trained in how to deliver screen and test results to families?
• Would use of a script, or semi-scripted approach to delivery of screen results help families to understand the importance of the result and what to do next?
• Are families getting a written copy of the screen result?
Changes to Try in My Practice:
• Try a scripted approach to delivery of screen and other important test results.
• Determine for your practice whether using a ‘script” has any effect on follow-up rates after newborn screens, or other tests.
• Give screen, and test results both verbally and in writing.
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