UK National Screening Committee says NO to adult hearing screening programme

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For a second time, the UK National Screening Committee has published recommendations on hearing loss in older adults that says they will not introduce a national screening programme for hearing loss in adults. The previous review was carried out in 2009.

Whilst the committee acknowledges that hearing loss is a “major health problem,” they still conclude that a screening programme should not be introduced.

The report states, “Hearing loss in older adults is a serious public health problem. The evidence is too limited to establish the type of screening test to be used, the severity of hearing loss to target, the age of the population to be screened, the frequency of screening. The effectiveness of the long term use of hearing aids and on the effectiveness of additional interventions aimed at improving the duration of hearing aid use is also uncertain.

“There remains an absence of Randomised Controlled Trial evidence demonstrating that screen detected hearing loss results in better outcomes compared with hearing loss detected through usual care.”

The UK NSC regularly reviews its recommendations on screening for different conditions in the light of new research evidence becoming available. The next review for adult hearing screening will be in 2018/19.

Source: UK NSC