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Keywords:

  • Mild hearing loss;
  • unilateral hearing loss;
  • activity limitation;
  • participation restriction;
  • hearing loss classification

Abstract

No uniform case definition presently exists for infant hearing screening programs worldwide especially for minimal hearing loss (HL). This article systematically reviewed the current practices in developing countries for programs aimed at early detection of “disabling” congenital and early-onset HL and found significant variations which undermine comparability of key findings in the reported studies. Implications for the exclusion of minimal HL are explored within the context of the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) of the World Health Organization and its adapted version for children and youth (ICF-CY). A revised World Health Organization classification that accounts for all categories of HL based on ICF-CY may provide a suitable framework for improved uniformity in reporting standards.