Availability of data for cost-effectiveness comparison of child vision and hearing screening programmes

Jan Kik, Eveline A. M. Heijnsdijk, Allison R. Mackey, Gwen Carr, Anna M. Horwood, Maria Fronius, Jill Carlton, Helen J. Griffiths, Inger M. Uhlen, Huibert Jan Simonsz*, Country-Committees Joint-Partnership Of The Euscreen Study Consortium

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Objective For cost-effectiveness comparison of child vision and hearing screening programmes, methods and data should be available. We assessed the current state of data collection and its availability in Europe. Methods The EUSCREEN Questionnaire, conducted in 2017-2018, assessed paediatric vision and hearing screening programmes in 45 countries in Europe. For the current study, its items on data collection, monitoring and evaluation, and six of eleven items essential for cost-effectiveness analysis: prevalence, sensitivity, specificity, coverage, attendance and loss to follow-up, were reappraised with an additional questionnaire. Results The practice of data collection in vision screening was reported in 36% (N = 42) of countries and in hearing screening in 81% (N = 43); collected data were published in 12% and 35%, respectively. Procedures for quality assurance in vision screening were reported in 19% and in hearing screening in 26%, research of screening effectiveness in 43% and 47%, whereas cost-effectiveness analysis was performed in 12% for both. Data on prevalence of amblyopia were reported in 40% and of hearing loss in 77%, on sensitivity of screening tests in 17% and 14%, on their specificity in 19% and 21%, on coverage of screening in 40% and 84%, on attendance in 21% and 37%, and on loss to follow-up in 12% and 40%, respectively. Conclusions Data collection is insufficient in hearing screening and even more so in vision screening: data essential for cost-effectiveness comparison could not be reported from most countries. When collection takes place, this is mostly at a local level for quality assurance or accountability, and data are often not accessible. The resulting inability to compare cost-effectiveness among screening programmes perpetuates their diversity and inefficiency.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)62-68
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Medical Screening
Issue number2
Early online date7 Oct 2022
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: this work was supported by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme [grant 733352].

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2022.


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