The treatment of persistent glue ear in children

NHS Centre for Reviews and Dissemination
Record ID 31995000032
Authors' objectives:

To assess whether surgical interventions are effective in combating disability from glue ear.

Authors' results and conclusions: Clinical: Grommets and adenoidectomy, alone or in combination, are equally effective and reduce mean hearing impairment by less than 12 decibels. The clinical significance of small improvements is uncertain. Myringotomy alone, and tonsillectomy alone or in combination, are ineffective interventions. A significant proportion of children are receiving surgery unnecessarily. Introducing a period of watchful waiting and immediate presurgery testing is likely to decrease inappropriate surgery for glue ear. Economic: Current expenditure on glue ear operation is about 330m.
Authors' recommendations: Purchasers and professionals should develop protocols for the management of glue ear. Large multi-centre trials examining the effectiveness of a range of interventions using broader outcome measures are required. Other output or dissemination activity: Incorporated into contracts of purchasers. Anecdotal evidence of decline in rates. This is being evaluated.
Authors' methods: Systematic review
Project Status: Completed
Year Published: 1992
English language abstract: An English language summary is available
Publication Type: Not Assigned
Country: England
MeSH Terms
  • Adenoidectomy
  • Child Health Services
  • Hearing Disorders
  • Middle Ear Ventilation
  • Otitis Media with Effusion
  • Tonsillectomy
Organisation Name: University of York
Contact Address: University of York, York, Y01 5DD, United Kingdom. Tel: +44 1904 321040, Fax: +44 1904 321041,
Contact Name:
Contact Email:
Copyright: University of York
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