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Table 1 Quality evaluation criteria. Four essential criteria were required for inclusion, indicating the study was internally valid. Studies meeting these four criteria were further evaluated on the sample, screening and outcome

From: Protocol and programme factors associated with referral and loss to follow-up from newborn hearing screening: a systematic review

Score Quality Evaluation Criteria
Essential internal validity
The sampling method and exclusion criteria did not introduce sampling bias.
The design or analysis allowed for comparability between parameter and minimized co-intervention bias.
The outcomes were reliable (e.g., all infants screened were accounted for; there was no error in the result tallies).
The outcomes were valid (e.g., based on objective measures; did not contain bias).
Sample
 * The community was described from which all infants were drawn.
 - The community was not described from which infants were drawn.
 * The sample size was 1000 or more for each group described.
 - The sample size was less than 1000 for each group described.
 * The coverage rate was described and was 95% or more, as recommended by the Joint Committee of Infant Hearing.
 - The coverage rate was not described, or if described, coverage was less than 95%.
 * The infants included were described with respect to risk factors, NICU admission, well babies, all babies born, etc.
 - The infants included were not described.
Screening
 * The screening protocol was described and included at least four of the five following factors: infant age at screening, test method, number of screens performed in screening step 1, the test device, and referral criteria (If not automatic) including one or both ears.
 - Less than four of the five above-mentioned factors pertaining to the screening protocol were described.
Outcome
 * The method for collecting data was described (e.g., paper records, centralized database, etc).
 - The method for collecting data was not described.
 * The criteria for determining loss to follow-up (or nonattendance) was describeda.
 - The criteria for determining loss to follow-up (or nonattendance) was not describeda.
  1. aOnly relevant for studies reporting on loss to follow-up or nonattendance