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EBP Compendium: Summary of Clinical Practice Guideline

University of Michigan Health System
Otitis Media

Linsk, R., Blackwood, A., et al. (2002).
Ann Arbor (MI): University of Michigan Health System, 12 pages.

AGREE Rating: Highly Recommended


This guideline provides recommendations for the assessment and treatment of otitis media with effusion (OME) in children and adults. Although the target audience of the guideline was not specified, it appears to be most relevant to medical professionals providing services to children and adults with OME. Significant recommendations are graded as Level A (based on randomized controlled trials), Level B (based on controlled trials with no randomization), Level C (based on observational trials), or Level D (based on expert panel opinion).


  • Screening/Assessment
    • General Findings
      • "...[C]hildren with otitis media with effusion and documented language delays, school or behavior problems, and/or chronic medical conditions, should be referred promptly for audiologic evaluation regardless of the known duration of OME" (p. 2).
      • "Children with anatomic abnormalities such as bifid uvula, cleft palate, or Down Syndrome are less likely to resolve their MEE [middle ear effusion] spontaneously and should also be referred for early intervention" (p. 9).
    • Screening/Assessement Instruments
      • Otoscopy, Pneumatic Otoscopy & Tympanometry - "The presence of middle ear effusion should be determined by the combined use of otoscopy, pneumatic otoscopy, and tympanometry when necessary" (LEVEL D Evidence) (p. 1).
  • Management
    • Speech & Language
      • Grommets/Ventilation Tubes - "...[I]f a child is exhibiting significant speech delay or behavioral disruption or suffers from some other cause of sensory or cognitive dysfunction, early tube placement is probably appropriate" (p. 9).

Keywords: Otitis Media

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Added to Compendium: November 2010

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