The EUSCREEN study aims to compare vision and hearing screening programmes for children in all EU states by using a cost-optimisation model.
Representatives of EU states will be asked to provide detailed data on the following domains: demography, the general background of screening systems, existing screening systems, coverage/attendance, tests used, follow-up/diagnosis, treatment, benefit and adverse effects.
The cost-effectiveness model will predict the most cost-effective and affordable way to screen children in each country, given the local circumstances. A preliminary version of the model is currently available for testing.
Paediatric ophthalmologists, paediatric otolaryngologists, audiologists and professionals who organise and perform screening in each country were invited to participate in the study and report on the state of screening in their country. An extensive, detailed questionnaire was available for that purpose.
Model-developed screening programmes have been tested in the county of Cluj in Romania for vision, and in three counties in Albania for hearing screening. A manual with a strategy for implementation is being developed by detailed tracking, and from identified requisites, facilitators and barriers. The cost-effectiveness model and the strategy for implementation will be packed into a transferable TOOLKIT that will assist healthcare providers and policy makers worldwide in their decisions to introduce or modify vision and hearing screening programmes, and increase effectiveness, efficiency and equity of child health care.