Effects of immediate telephone follow-up with providers on sweat chloride test timing after cystic fibrosis newborn screening identifies a single mutation

Alison La Pean, Michael H. Farrell, Kerry L. Eskra, Philip M. Farrell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: To assess whether reporting "possible cystic fibrosis (CF)" newborn screening (NBS) results via fax plus simultaneous telephone contact with primary care providers (PCPs) versus fax alone influenced 3 outcomes: undergoing a sweat chloride test, age at sweat chloride testing, and undergoing sweat testing before age 8 weeks. Study design: This was a retrospective cohort comparison of infants born in Wisconsin whose PCP received a telephone intervention (n = 301) versus recent historical controls whose PCP did not (n = 355). Intervention data were collected during a longitudinal research and quality improvement effort; deidentified comparison data were constructed from auxiliary NBS tracking information. Parametric and nonparametric statistical analyses were performed for group differences. Results: Most infants (92%) with "possible CF" NBS results whose PCP lacked telephone intervention ultimately underwent sweat testing, underlining efficacy for fax-only reporting. Telephone intervention was significantly associated with improvements in the infants undergoing sweat testing at age ≤6 weeks and <8 weeks and a slight, statistically nonsignificant 3.5-day reduction in the infants' age at sweat testing. The effect of telephone intervention was greater for PCPs whose patients underwent sweat testing at community-affiliated medical centers versus those whose patients did so at academic medical centers (P = .008). Conclusion: Reporting "possible CF" NBS results via fax plus simultaneous telephone follow-up with PCPs increases the rate of sweat chloride testing before 8 weeks of age, when affected infants are more likely to receive full benefits of early diagnosis and treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)522-529
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Pediatrics
Volume162
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2013
Externally publishedYes

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