Otitis media (OM) is inflammation of the middle ear an episode of which occurs in virtually all
children by six years of age. OM causes a significant burden for children, their parents and health care
systems. OM frequently results in functional limitations of hearing resulting in communication
problems and speech and language delays. The aim of this project is to analyse the different factors
that contribute to the quality of life of children that present with otitis media.
Children presenting to paediatric ENT services with a history of either recurrent acute otitis media
(RAOM) or otitis media with effusion (OME) were recruited. Informed consent was obtained.
Interviews were carried out with a parent of the recruited patient. Exact symptoms were clarified and
the validated Otitis Media 6 questionnaire was completed.
A total of 76 patients were included in this study. 71% (n=54) were male. The mean age at the time of
presentation to clinic was 6 years (range 6 months- 16 years) with a standard deviation of 3.4 years.
The metrics the survey looked at included hearing loss, physical suffering, emotional distress and
limitations of physical activities.
In this population, there is a greater incidence of otitis media in male children. For all instances that a
patient was followed up having undergoing ventilation tube (VT) insertion, there was overall
improvement in all categories of the survey.