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AOM Study Toolkit for Physicians
Efficacy of Short-Course Antimicrobial Treatment for Young Children With Acute Otitis Media and Impact on Antimicrobial Resistance
Thank you for your interest in this study
AOM is the most frequently diagnosed illness in children and most common reason for being prescribed an antibiotic. However, because of concerns about antibiotic overuse, practice guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics include an option for watchful waiting for children 6 to 24 months with mild symptoms in whom the diagnosis is uncertain.
Through a recent study funded by the National Institutes of Health and published in the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC determined that children who received antibiotics responded significantly faster and were less likely to have persistent otoscopic signs of an ear infection at the end of treatment. This benefit, however, must be weighed against concern not only about side effects (diarrhea, diaper rash), but also about the contribution of antibiotic treatment to the emergence of bacterial resistance.
These considerations underscore the need to restrict treatment to children whose illness is diagnosed using stringent criteria. As part of a broader initiative of clinical trials to fight antimicrobial resistance, NIH has again funded our center to determine whether children 6 to 24 months with AOM can be effectively treated with 5 days instead of 10 days of antibiotics. A shorter treatment course may be beneficial in reducing antibiotic resistance and reducing the likelihood of side effects.
For more information, please read this Letter to Physicians (PDF).
Below are links to information to enable full understanding of this research and to help with patient education and participation in this clinical study.
If you are not one of the participating PittNet sites and wish to refer a patient to the study, please:
- Review the Key Study Points (PDF) with the child’s parents.
- Call Dr. Hoberman at 412-999-EARS (3277).
- Provide parents with the Letter to Parents and Directions to Oakland Medical Building (PDF).
- Your patient will be seen immediately upon his or her arrival at Children’s Primary Care Center.
You may also post copies of the AOM Study Poster (PDF) within your practice.
- Study description at National Institutes of Health
- NIH News Announcement About Antimicrobial Resistance Studies
- NEJM: Treatment of AOM in Children Under 2 Years of Age
- NEJM Article Supplementary Material
- NEJM Video: Diagnosing Otitis Media – Otoscopy and Cerumen Removal
- NEJM Video: Tympanocentesis in Children with Acute Otitis Media
Note: The videos are only available to NEJM subscribers and require a sign-in after clicking the links above.
Rapid Learning Options
- AOM Grand Rounds Presentation by Alejandro Hoberman, MD, Oct. 2010.
- Diagnosis of Otitis Media with Effusion (eProm Module 2)
- Diagnosis of Acute Otitis Media (eProm Module 3)
- DxEar Self-Assessment (eProm Module 7)
- DxEAR Self-Learning (eProm Module 8)
Note: CME credits are available for Modules 2 and 3 above, but require a login at PedsEd – Pediatrics Education. (Registration is free.)
November 19, 2012
November 19, 2012