In this section
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Now that newborn babies can have hearing checks, hearing loss is often picked up soon after birth. We know that newborn hearing programs help many children. SCOUT is the first project in the world to find out how effective newborn hearing programs are for all children.
From 2003 to 2005 New South Wales offered newborn hearing checks to all babies, while Victoria offered hearing checks only to babies at high risk for deafness. SCOUT wants to study all children with bilateral hearing loss born during this period, when they are around 5 years old. This will let SCOUT find out the benefits and costs of screening all babies, compared to screening only the high risk babies.
Children were invited to join SCOUT if they:
We collected information about child hearing, language, behaviour, health and use of health services. We also collected information from parents about themselves.
Some families who took part in SCOUT are also taking part in another study carried out by the National Acoustic Laboratories (NAL) called LOCHI. For these families:
We visited children and their parent at home, kinder/preschool or school.
SCOUT assessment. (click here to read about it)
What did PARENTS in SCOUT do? (click here to read about it)
Parents of children in SCOUT were asked to do three things. To read more about each one, please click on the link above.
This important study is being funded by Australia's National Health & Medical Research Council.
It has also been approved by:
SCOUT is a major collaborative project involving the following institutions:
The multidisciplinary SCOUT team has members with expertise in a range of areas such as:
Statistician, Murdoch Childrens Research Institute, Melbourne
From top left: Dr Harvey Dillon, Ms Vivienne Martin, Dr Zeffie Poulakis, Dr Karen Wirth.
From bottom left: Dr Teresa Ching, Ms Samatha Youn, Prof Melissa Wake.
Want to read the SCOUT newsletter?
SCOUT Newsletter Dec 2010
SCOUT Change of contact details 2010-2011.pdf
We've now visited all SCOUT children. Thank you again!
We've put together the data from all the assessments of SCOUT children and we've done some initial comparisons between children in the two states. To answer all our SCOUT questions, we now need to put together the information you gave us about your children in the
questionnaires. Then we'll compare the results between children in the two states.
We are also looking at how much it costs to support a child born with hearing loss in the two states. You told us what help you got for your child's hearing loss. With your permission, services also told us the help they gave your child. Once we've combined all this information we'll know what it
Note: "UNHS" below refers to "Universal Newborn Hearing Screening".
2008 (June), Cernobbio, Italy: Introduction to the SCOUT
study (poster presented by Dr Zeffie Poulakis)
2010 (June) Cernobbio, Italy: Preliminary findings from
SCOUT (talk presented by Prof Melissa Wake)
2009 (Oct), Hobart: Review of economic evidence for
UNHS (talk presented by Dr Lisa Gold)
2011 (Apr), Freemantle: 5 year old child outcomes (talk presented by Prof Melissa Wake)
2011 (Apr), Freemantle: Cost-effectivenessof
UNHS (talk presented by Dr Karen Wirth)
2010 (March), London, UK: Quality in Assessments across
the care pathway (talk presented by Prof Melissa Wake)
2010 (October), Netherlands: Information, knowledge, wisdom: Using
population data to improve outcomes for children with hearing
impairment (keynote speech presented by Prof Melissa Wake)
2011 (Jul), Toronto: Health-related quality of life of children with HI
and their parents (to be presented by Dr Lisa Gold)
We are currently looking at all the information we collected, to compare children between states and work out the benefits and costs of different hearing screening programs.
Overseas teams with similar questions are keen to join forces with SCOUT. Then we could compare findings in different countries. If possible, we will also ask your permission to see your child again at about age 10, to look at later outcomes. However this depends on funding!
We plan to start our VicCHILD project soon. VicCHILD is a databank to track outcomes of hearing loss over time. A databank is an information store that grows over time, with families' permission. It could help improve care and treatment for children with hearing loss. Victorian families with
children born with hearing loss will be able to join from 2011. We hope SCOUT families will
consider joining! We'll contact you when it's ready to go. Find out more at:
In 2010, CCCH hearing researchers visited 17-19 year olds born with hearing loss. We first saw these children in 1999 when they were just 7-8 years old - when CHIVOS (the 'Children with Hearing Loss in Victoria Outcome Study') first started. Now, we're learning about their hopes and dreams as young
adults. Find out more at:
Dr Karen Wirth (Project Manager and Psychologist)
Phone: (03) 9345 6528
Dr Zeffie Poulakis (Psychologist)
Professor Melissa Wake (Paediatrician)
The Centre for Community Child Health is a department of The Royal Children’s Hospital and a research group of Murdoch Childrens Research Institute.