Medical education and attitudes about acute otitis media guidelines: A survey of italian pediatricians and otolaryngologists

Paola Marchisio, Eugenio Mira, Catherine Klersy, Fabio Pagella, Susanna Esposito, Sonia Bianchini, Giuseppe Di Mauro, Michela Fusi, Erica Nazzari, Marta Tagliabue, Luisa Bellussi, Nicola Principi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND:: Medical education and guidelines have been advocated as major means of improving the management of otitis media. Limited data are available concerning medical education in acute otitis media (AOM), and the association between medical education and attitudes about AOM guidelines has never been explored. OBJECTIVES:: To assess the prevalence of medical education concerning AOM, of a positive attitude toward AOM guidelines and of appropriate diagnostic methods in a large sample of Italian pediatricians (PEDs) and otolaryngologist (ENTs) and to look for possible associations between them. SUBJECTS AND METHODS:: This cross-sectional survey was based on the responses of 2012 physicians (1160 PEDs and 852 ENTs) to a mailed anonymous questionnaire. RESULTS:: Very few (9%) of the responders had received any AOM medical education during medical school, but the number increased during residency (38%) and peaked in the postresidency period (53%) with slight differences between PEDs and ENTs. Forty percent reported a positive attitude toward AOM guidelines, with PEDs having a better attitude than ENTs (46% vs. 32%, P <0.001). An appropriate diagnostic method for AOM was reported by only 21% of the physicians (PEDs 11% vs. ENTs 35%, P <0.001). AOM medical education during postresidency and reporting the use of appropriate diagnostic methods were significantly associated with a positive attitude about AOM guidelines. CONCLUSIONS:: Specific educational programs concerning AOM should be implemented and rigorously evaluated, before physicians become fully trained PEDs and ENTs, and maintained during postresidency. Evidence-based guidelines should be further incorporated into everyday practice of both PEDs and ENTs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-4
Number of pages4
JournalPediatric Infectious Disease Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2009


  • Acute otitis media
  • guidelines
  • medical education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Microbiology (medical)


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