Patterns in acute otitis media drug prescriptions: A survey of Italian pediatricians and otolaryngologists

Paola Marchisio, Marta Tagliabue, Catherine Klersy, Eugenio Mira, Fabio Pagella, Elena Baggi, Miriam Fattizzo, Susanna Esposito, Nicola Principi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To evaluate whether physicians follow current guidelines for managing acute otitis media (AOM) and whether educational programs are needed to improve knowledge of AOM treatment among paediatricians (PEDs) and otolaryngologists (ENTs) Methods: A total of 1270 PEDs and 852 ENTs were randomly selected and interviewed with an anonymous questionnaire about how they managed AOM. Results: Inappropriate AOM approaches were identified among 60.2% of PEDs and 88.5% of ENTs (p <0.001). Amoxicillin and amoxicillin with clavulanic acid were appropriately chosen as first-line drugs by the majority of PEDs and ENTs, although significantly more ENTs reported otherwise (15.8% PEDs vs 25.5% ENTs; p <0.001). ENTs were significantly more likely than PEDs to report prescribing decongestants, mucolytics, anti-inflammatory drugs, and steroids (p <0.001). Conclusion: These results show that AOM prescriptions for antibiotics and adjunctive treatments are often inappropriate and highlight the need for educational strategies aimed at PEDs and ENTs to improve their compliance with evidence-based guidelines for AOM treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1159-1163
Number of pages5
JournalExpert Review of Anti-Infective Therapy
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • acute otitis media
  • adjunctive treatment
  • antimicrobial therapy
  • ear
  • otitis
  • prescribing habits

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Infectious Diseases
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Microbiology
  • Virology
  • Medicine(all)


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