OBJECTIVE: Outcomes for patients with otitis media were assessed in this prospective, multicenter study. STUDY DESIGN AND SETTING: Thirty-one otolaryngologists enrolled 272 pediatric patients with otitis media; caregivers completed surveys at 3-month intervals, and clinical and treatment data was also collected. The Otitis Media 6 (OM-6) was the primary outcome measure. RESULTS: One hundred seventy-seven patients (mean age 2.0 years) completed 3-month follow-up. One hundred thirty-seven patients underwent tympanostomy tube placement. Large improvements in disease-specific quality of life (QOL) were seen up to 9 months of follow-up. Baseline OM-6 score was the best predictor of clinical success in regression modeling. CONCLUSIONS: Patients referred to an otolaryngologist for treatment of otitis media see large improvements in disease-specific QOL regardless of treatment rendered. SIGNIFICANCE: The study demonstrates the feasibility of multicenter outcomes studies and confirms appropriate triage of patients with otitis media into surgical versus medical interventions. EBM rating: C.
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