A new hearing screening system for preschool children

Wenjin WU, Jingrong LÜ, Yun LI, Chi Shan KAM, Michael Chi Fai TONG, Zhiwu HUANG, Hao WU

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: This study aimed to investigate the practical application of Smart Hearing, a new hearing screening system for preschool children.
Methods: The screening system was applied to 6288 preschool children. The system auto-tested hearing thresholds at three frequencies: 1 kHz, 2 kHz, and 4 kHz; a 30 dB hearing level (HL) was the critical intensity for passing. Children with positive results were referred for audiological evaluation (pure tone audiometry, tympanometry and distortion product otoacoustic emissions assessment, etc.). To evaluate the test accuracy, 312 children (5%) were randomly selected to receive audiology assessment.
Results: In this study, 582 children (9.3%) tested positive in the screening, and the referral rate of the four age groups from 3 to 6 years old was 18.8%, 11.9%, 6.5% and 4.0%, respectively. A total of 463 children underwent audiological assessment, of which 12 cases (1.91‰; 95% CI: 0.83‰, 2.99‰) were diagnosed with permanent hearing loss, and 75 cases (1.19%; 95% CI: 0.92%, 1.46%) were diagnosed with temporary conductive hearing loss. No mixed hearing loss was found in this study. The specificity of the system was 92.6% and the sensitivity was only 37.5%.
Conclusions: This screening system is suitable for the universal hearing screening of preschool children above 4 years old, and further improvements of the system are needed to increase its sensitivity. Copyright © 2013 Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)290-295
JournalInternational Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology
Issue number2
Early online dateDec 2013
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2014


Wu, W., Lü, J., Li, Y., Kam, A. C. S., Tong, M. C. F., Huang, Z., & Wu, H. (2014). A new hearing screening system for preschool children. International Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology, 78(2), 290-295. doi: 10.1016/j.ijporl.2013.11.026


  • Pure tone screening
  • Permanent hearing impairment
  • Conductive hearing impairment
  • Multimedia


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