The EUSCREEN study aimed to compare vision and hearing screening programmes for children in all EU states by using a cost-effectiveness model. The cost-effectiveness model predicts the most cost-effective and affordable way to screen children in each country, given the local circumstances.
Representatives of countries in Europe were 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, benefits and adverse effects. 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 developed for that purpose.
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 for implementation or modification of child vision and hearing screening programmes was developed by detailed tracking, and from identified requisites, facilitators and barriers.
The cost-effectiveness model and the manual for implementation 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 healthcare.