This evidence-based clinical practice guideline provides recommendations to primary care clinicians for the management of children from 2 months through 12 years of age with uncomplicated acute otitis media (AOM).
The American Academy of Pediatrics and American Academy of Family Physicians convened a committee composed of primary care physicians and experts in the fields of otolaryngology, epidemiology, and infectious disease. The subcommittee partnered with the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and the Southern California Evidence-Based Practice Center to develop a comprehensive review of the evidence-based literature related to AOM. The resulting evidence report and other sources of data were used to formulate the practice guideline recommendations. The focus of this practice guideline is the appropriate diagnosis and initial treatment of a child presenting with AOM.
The guideline provides a specific definition of AOM. It addresses pain management, initial observation versus antibacterial treatment, appropriate choices of antibacterials, and preventive measures. Decisions were made based on a systematic grading of the quality of evidence and strength of recommendations, as well as expert consensus when definitive data were not available. The practice guideline underwent comprehensive peer review before formal approval by the partnering organizations.
This clinical practice guideline is not intended as a sole source of guidance in the management of children with AOM. Rather, it is intended to assist primary care clinicians by providing a framework for clinical decision-making. It is not intended to replace clinical judgment or establish a protocol for all children with this condition. These recommendations may not provide the only appropriate approach to the management of this problem.