OBJECTIVES. To determine whether we could increase adherence to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations with well-accepted approaches to improving quality of care and adherence to the CDC recommendations resulted in improved outcomes for acute otitis media (AOM). METHODS.A cluster randomization study was conducted in 12 pediatric practices (6 intervention and 6 control sites). The main outcome measures were adherence to the CDC recommendations (modified to include 2 additional antimicrobial agents) and a subsequent antibiotic prescription for AOM within 30 days after diagnosis. RESULTS. Of 3152 patients referred to research assistants, 2584 (82%) were eligible. Of those eligible, 1368 (99%) of 1382 at the intervention sites and 1138 (99%) of 1146 at the control sites consented to participate. Rates of adherence to the CDC recommendations were not significantly higher at the intervention sites than at the control sites, for initial enrollment episodes (78.2% vs 70.6%) or second episodes (62.6% vs 59.9%). After controlling for clustering according to site and covariates, children who were not treated in adherence to the CDC recommendations for both episodes had 1.60 times the odds of a subsequent prescription within 12 days, compared with those treated in adherence at both episodes. CONCLUSIONS. Despite using evidence-based approaches that are known to influence physician behavior, we were unable to increase adherence to the CDC recommendations for treatment of AOM. However, we did establish that prescription of antimicrobial therapy consistent with the CDC recommendations for a second episode of AOM was associated with improved outcomes, measured as the need for subsequent antibiotic prescription. Because of the selection of resistant otopathogens, adherence to the CDC recommendations is likely more important in subsequent episodes of AOM than in the initial episode.
- Acute otitis media
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health