Caregiver quality of life is related to severity of otitis media in children

Sarah J. Blank, David J. Grindler, Kristine A. Schulz, David L. Witsell, Judith E.C. Lieu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Objective. Otitis media (OM) in children is the most frequent reason for physician visits in developed countries and burdens caregivers, society, and the child. Our objective was to describe the impact of OM severity on parent/caregiver quality of life (QoL). Study Design. Multi-institutional prospective cross-sectional study. Setting. Otolaryngology, family, and pediatric practices. Subjects and Methods. Children 6 to 24 months old with and without a primary diagnosis of recurrent OM and their caregivers. Physicians provided patient history, and parents/caregivers completed a Family Information Form, the PedsQL Family Impact survey, the Patient Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System (PROMIS) survey, and the OM 6-item severity survey (OM-6). Results. A total of 2413 subjects were enrolled and data from 1208 patients and physician were analyzed. The average child age was 16 months, and 54% were male. The mean OM-6 score was 3.2. The mean PedsQL Family Impact score for parents was 66.9 from otolaryngology sites and 78.8 from pediatrics/family practice sites (P <.001). Higher (worse) OM-6 scores correlated significantly with worse PedsQL Family Impact scores (Pearson r = 0.512, P<.01). Similarly, increasing OM-6 scores strongly correlated with increased parental anxiety, depression, and fatigue, as well as decreased satisfaction (all P<.01). Conclusions. Worse PedsQL Family Impact and PROMIS scores were highly correlated with elevated OM-6 scores, suggesting that severity of childhood OM significantly affects parent/caregiver QoL. Understanding the impact of a childs illness on parent/caregiver QoL can help physicians counsel patients and families and provide better family-centered, compassionate care.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)348-353
Number of pages6
JournalOtolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery (United States)
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 2014


  • OM
  • caregiver
  • pressure equalization tube
  • quality of life
  • tympanostomy tube


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