Parental views on otitis media

This study aims to describe parental experiences and perspectives of caring for a child with otitis media | European Journal of Pediatrics

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We conducted a systematic review of qualitative studies on parental perspectives on caring for a child with otitis media. We searched electronic databases to July 2015. Seventeen studies involving 284 participants from six countries were included. We identified seven themes: diminishing competency (guilt over failure to identify symptoms, helpless and despairing, fear of complications, disempowered and dismissed); disrupting life schedules (disturbing sleep, interfering with work, burden on family); social isolation (stigma and judgement, sick consciousness); threatening normal development (delaying growth milestones, impairing interpersonal skills, impeding education); taking ownership (recognising symptoms, diagnostic closure, working the system, protecting against physical trauma, contingency planning); valuing support (needing respite, depending on community, clinician validation); and cherishing health (relief with treatment success, inspiring resilience).

Conclusion: The additional medical responsibilities and anxieties of parents caring for a child with otitis media, often discounted by clinicians, can be disempowering and disruptive. Chronicity can raise doubt about treatment efficacy and parental competency, and fears regarding their child’s development. Care that fosters parental confidence and addresses their concerns about the child’s development may improve treatment outcomes for children with otitis media.

Full reference: Chando, S. et al. (2016) Parental views on otitis media: systematic review of qualitative studies. European Journal of Pediatrics. 175: 1295. 

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