Otitis Media: Evidence-Based Practice, Nursing Research

Subject: Nursing
Pages: 6
Words: 1600
Reading time:
6 min
Study level: College


Otitis Media (OM) is an infection of the middle ear. However, this inflammation is not common in adults but rather common among young children. The inflammation is always accompanied by a viral upper respiratory infection (URI) and normally occurs in children who are between the ages of four to seven. One of the reasons why this disease is mainly found in children includes; anatomic differences of the skull base and Eustachian tube as well as biological susceptibility.

Sources of evidence

The information by Block, S. L. (1997) on Causative pathogens, antibiotic resistance and therapeutic considerations in acute otitis media can be categorized as a general information resource because it provides an overview of what Otitis Media is. In addition, the article attempts to advise the parents and the guardians on some of the signs and symptoms that should be observed to know whether a child is suffering from this kind of disease. He notes that this disease has become very common among very many young children in the United States of America.

On the other hand, the information provided by Kelley, Friedman & Johnson, (2007) on ear, nose, and throat can be classified as an unfiltered resource. This is because the information they provide in their discussion is very recent in the medical field and therefore the medical practitioners cannot rely on it wholly. This is informed by the fact that some of the issues that they raise are new to some medical practitioners. To solve this problem, practical tests should be done to prove its credibility. After, the tests have been done then the information provided can either be accepted or rejected depending on the results obtained.

In regards to works by the American Academy of Pediatrics and American Academy of Family Physicians (2004), however, this has turned out to be a filtered resource. This is informed by the fact that their article tends to appraise the quality of studies besides making recommendations for this practice to be carried on with. This article accepts that Otitis Media is fast becoming a common disease among young kids. In its recommendation, it states that thorough research should be carried out to ensure that a permanent solution to this problem is found so that cases of children going deaf especially in third world countries are reduced. If the recommendations are adopted by the relevant authorities, it claims that in the long run, this disease is going to be eliminated in the world.

Just like the work by the American Academy of Pediatrics and American Academy of Family Physicians, McCracken, (1998) advocates for a comprehensive research to unlock the puzzle on the treatment of acute otitis media in an era of increasing microbial resistance. In his work, he observes that unless researcher gets down to serious research on this disease, it is going to continue affecting many children while making some of them become deaf. Therefore based on the information that he has provided, his work can be classified as a filtered resource. It is worth noting that although the authors have different approaches in which they perceive this disease, one thing is common among them; that is this disease needs to be tackled as fast as possible before it becomes a serious threat to the children.

As earlier stated all of these sources have one thing in common trying to look for the solution to tackling Otitis media. For example, the work by Block, S. L. (1997) on Causative pathogens, antibiotic resistance, and therapeutic considerations in acute otitis media gives the medical practitioners including nurses a clear insight into what this type of disease is. Therefore, having gone through these writings medical practitioners will be in a better position to recommend prescriptions to the patients and as a result reduce the reported cases of Otitis Media. Nevertheless, nurses and doctors will be well equipped with the information that they should disseminate to the children’s patients. The information may contain ways of preventing a child from contracting the disease and also some of the signs to look out for to know whether the child is suffering from this kind of disease.

The work by Kelley, Friedman & Johnson, (2007) on ear, nose, and throat, can not be used in this nursing practice. This is because some of their findings are new in the field. Therefore, unless the information is well authenticated, nurses and doctors specializing in this field may not use it in all their work. What is required for this work to be accepted is a thorough test on whatever claim has been made by the authors. During their research, they might have generalized some of their findings that may not apply to some patients when it is put into practice.

American Academy of Pediatrics and American Academy of Family Physicians (2004) work can be of great help in the nursing practice. This decision is informed by the fact that it is advocating for more research to be carried out so that a permanent solution is found. Therefore, if what it recommends is taken into account, then cases of Otitis Media are likely to go down or even cease to exist because the disease will have been wiped out completely.

Furthermore, McCracken (1998) raises issues similar to the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Academy of Family Physicians. Therefore we can say that this evidence is suitable for the nursing practice. In his discussion, he has claimed that Otitis Media is treatable although the disease is beginning to show some signs of resistance to drugs. To counter this resistance he says that medical researchers should look for other types of medicine that will deal with Otitis Media once and for all. Therefore, this method should be used in the nursing practice because it is going to offer a solution to many people in need of treatment.

Causative pathogens, antibiotic resistance, and therapeutic considerations in acute Otitis media by Block (1997) can be classified as primary research evidence because in his discussion he has explained that research was conducted to arrive at their conclusions. A group of medical researchers examined several children who were suffering from this disease. It is from the observations they made that they were able to come to a conclusion on the causes, and symptoms of Otitis Media. On the other hand American Academy of Pediatrics and American Academy of Family Physicians (2004), Kelley, Friedman & Johnson, (2007), and McCracken, (1998) can be said to be an evidence-based guidelines. This is because they analyzed the work of the other researchers when arriving at their conclusions.

Is watchful waiting an appropriate approach for treating children with acute Otitis media?

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics and American Academy of Family Physicians (2004), watchful waiting is an appropriate method for treating kids with acute Otitis Media because it gives a chance to the clinicians to observe the children when they start to exhibit signs of Otitis media. It states that when a clinician is observing the child he or she can enquire on the history of the family regarding the disease. It is after getting to know this kind of information that the medical practitioner can prescribe a suitable medication for the child.

How to improve nursing practice in the clinic?

In an attempt to improve the nursing practice in the clinics, it is recommended that nurses and other medical practitioners adhere to the rules governing their work. For example in the prescription of drugs, patients should be given the correct drugs and in the correct quantity. This is because of age factors and the body’s ability to resist drugs since different people have different reactions to drugs. In addition to that, the medical practitioners should be advised to make sure that, they look at the history of the patient to establish if the disease can be found in any other member of the family. Due to the pain associated with the Otitis Media, the nurses and the doctors should make sure that pain killers are administered to the patients on time.

Ethical issues that could arise in researching and changing clinical practice guidelines, based on the evidence-based research

When researching any nature, there are certain issues that the researcher has to bear in mind; these are ethical issues. He or she should assess the probable repercussions associated with that research so that he or she can put adequate measures to avoid such eventualities. Therefore when researching ways of changing clinical practice guidelines based on evidence-based research the researcher should first of all look at the cultural values of a people. This is because certain communities associate certain diseases with witchcraft and therefore when it comes to providing medicine for such diseases it becomes a difficult task. In addition, one should try at his or her level best to keep all the information submitted confidentially. If this is not the case, people who gave out the information may be victimized by the other members of the community. Furthermore, the researcher should try to establish the reliability of the information received especially if it is a case involving children. This is because children might share out information that is not true.


Otitis Media is a disease that has continued to affect many young children across the world. Despite many medical discoveries, many children have continued being victims of this disease. Therefore, the government should come up with an awareness campaign to enlighten the parents on how to prevent their children from contracting the disease and the symptoms to look out for to identify the ailment in their children.

Reference List

American Academy of Pediatrics and American Academy of Family Physicians. (2004.)

Clinical practice guideline: Diagnosis and management of acute otitis media. 2011. Web.

Block, S. L. (1997). Causative pathogens, antibiotic resistance and therapeutic considerations in acute Otitis Media. Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal, 16, 449–456

Kelley, P. E., Friedman, N. & Johnson, C. (2007). Ear, nose, and throat. In W. W. Hay,

M. J. Levin, J. M. Sondheimer, & R. R. Deterding (Eds.), Current pediatric diagnosis and treatment (18th Ed). New York: Lange Medical Books/McGraw-Hill

McCracken, G. H. (1998). Treatment of acute otitis media in an era of increasing microbial resistance. Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal, 17, 576–579.