Otitis Media Guidelines May Not Be Affecting US Physician Habits
For the past 20 years, research has indicated that antibiotics should not be used for childhood ear infections, and the past 5 or 6 years the recommendations have been strong to avoid antibiotics. And yet the doctors are not getting the message. Does this suggest that they are not getting the info? That is sort of scary…part of being a physician is staying on top of recent developments to improve the efficacy and safety of your practice.
(article) Federal guidelines for treating otitis media with effusion in children may not be making their way into US physicians’ practices, according to survey results released here at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery Foundation. The guidelines were published by the Agency for Health Care Quality and research, now known as the Agency for Healthcare research and Quality (AHRQ), in 1994, to what survey author Dr. Michael G. Stewart called a “warm reception” among pediatricians and otolaryngologists. But the survey of nearly 600 such physicians shows that many are either unaware of the guidelines or unwilling to use them. “It’s very clear that it’s not enough to produce a guideline and just put it out there. Many studies show this with many guidelines, that if you can’t implement them with a concerted educational effort at the clinical level that they will have no effect.” AHRQ now has an initiative called Translating research into Practice, designed to find ways to increase the effectiveness of guidelines.