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EBP Compendium: Summary of Clinical Practice Guideline

American Academy of Pediatrics Subcommittee on Otitis Media with Effusion; American Academy of Family Physicians; American Academy of Otolaryngology—Head Neck Surgery
Otitis Media with Effusion

American Academy of Family Physicians, American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, American Academy of Pediatrics Subcommittee on Otitis Media with Effusion (2004).
Pediatrics, 113(5), 1412–29.

AGREE Rating: Highly Recommended


This guideline provides recommendations on the diagnosis and management of otitis media with effusion (OME) in children. The primary audiences of this guideline are healthcare professionals, audiologists, speech-language pathologists, and child-development specialists. Each statement is graded as a “strong recommendation" (the approach is supported by high quality evidence and benefits clearly exceed harms or harms clearly exceed benefits), “recommendation” (the quality of evidence is not as strong and benefits exceed harms or harms exceed benefits), “option" (suspect quality of evidence or well-done studies show little clear advantage of one approach versus another), or "no recommendation" (lack of pertinent evidence and unclear balance between benefits and harms).


  • Screening/Assessment
    • General Findings
      • “Population-based screening programs for OME are not recommended in healthy, asymptomatic children” (Recommendation Against)(p. 1415).
    • Assessment Areas
      • “Clinicians should distinguish the child with OME who is at risk for speech, language, or learning problems from other children with OME and should evaluate hearing, speech, language, and need for intervention more promptly”. (Recommendation) (p. 1416).
      • “Hearing testing is recommended when OME persists for 3 months or longer or at any time that language delay, learning problems, or a significant hearing loss is suspected in a child with OME; language testing should be conducted for children with hearing loss” (Recommendation) (p. 1419).
    • Screening/Assessment Instruments
      • Pneumatic Otoscopy - “Clinicians should use pneumatic otoscopy as the primary diagnostic method for OME, and OME should be distinguished from AOM” (Strong Recommendation) (p. 1413).
      • Tympanometry - “Tympanometry can be used to confirm the diagnosis of OME” (Option) (p. 1414).

Keywords: Otitis Media

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Added to Compendium: November 2010

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