Have Guidelines Affected Ear, Nose, and Throat Specialists’ Diagnoses and the Prescription of Antibiotics for Acute Otitis Media?

Document Type : Original



The Ministry of Health and Medical Education of Iran, and similar institutions in many other countries, advises physicians to use current guidelines for the diagnosis and treatment of acute otitis media (AOM). However, there has been no evaluation of the effectiveness of such guidelines or whether physicians in Iran adhere to them. Thus, as laryngologists are the most important group of people who interact with patients with AOM, the aim of this study was to evaluate the attitude of laryngologists to the established guidelines.
 Materials and Methods:
A total of 120 anonymous surveys were mailed to 120 otolaryngologists in Tehran, Iran, to evaluate the patterns of diagnosis and treatment of AOM used by these physicians. The survey included questions regarding the otolaryngologists’ age, gender, place of work, and attitude towards diagnosis and treatment of AOM.
Sixty-two completed surveys were received, for a response rate of 51%. There was no significant difference between respondents to these surveys according to sex, age, practice setting, graduation year, or the number of patients with AOM seen each month.
Our study adds new insights to the previous literature on the use of guidelines in the management of AOM. We can now assess the impact of guidelines on the usual practice of physicians in evidenced-based management of AOM.