The burden of acute otitis media on the patient and the family

David Greenberg, Natasha Bilenko, Zvika Liss, Tomer Shagan, Orly Zamir, Ron Dagan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations


The aim of our study was to determine the burden of acute otitis media (AOM) on patients and their families. Parents of children with AOM were interviewed with regard to the week preceding the AOM diagnosis and every 3 days henceforth for an additional 21 days. The interview included information on loss of workdays, use of health care services and impact on the patient's and family's quality of life. Parents of age- and neighbourhood-matched controls were interviewed in an identical manner. A total of 150 patients and 51 controls were included in the analysis. The following variables differed significantly (P < 0.001) between patients and controls (mean ± SD): non-routine days 18.5 ± 11.0 in patients versus 3.4 ± 6.5 in controls; number of visits to primary health centres 2.6 ± 1.6 versus 0. 4 ± 0.6; number of emergency room visits 0.2 ± 0.5 versus 0.1 ± 0.02 and number of visits to an otolaryngology clinic 0.3 ± 0.6 versus 0. Days of antibiotic and over the counter drug use were 9.0 ± 5. 6 versus 0.3 ± 0.9 and 7.0 ± 6.0 versus 4.9 ± 6.0, respectively per episode. The mean loss of workdays per child was 1.6 ± 1.8 in patients versus 0.25 ± 0.6 in controls, for working mothers and 0.6 ± 1.1 versus 0.1 ± 0.4 for working fathers; duration of absenteeism from day care facilities was 3.5 ± 2.5 versus 0.9 ± 2.7. Conclusion: Acute otitis media significantly reduces the quality of life of both child and parents, causes substantial use of medical services and significant loss of workdays.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)576-581
Number of pages6
JournalEuropean Journal of Pediatrics
Issue number9
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2003


  • Acute otitis media
  • Burden
  • Disease

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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