The health care burden and societal impact of acute otitis media in seven European countries: results of an Internet survey

Vaccine. 2010 Nov 19:28 Suppl 6:G39-52. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2010.06.014.


This paper estimates medical resource use, direct costs, and productivity losses and costs (indirect costs) during episodes of acute otitis media (AOM) in young children. A 24-item Internet questionnaire was developed for parents in Belgium (Flanders), France, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, Spain, and the United Kingdom (UK) to report health care resource use and productivity losses during the most recent episode of AOM in their child, younger than 5 years. The percentage who did not seek medical help for AOM was considerable in The Netherlands (28.3%) and the UK (19.7%). Antibiotic use was high, ranging from 60.8% (Germany) to 87.1% (Italy). Total costs per AOM episode ranged from €332.00 (The Netherlands) to €752.49 (UK). Losses in productivity accounted for 61% (France) to 83% (Germany) of the total costs. AOM poses a significant medical and economic burden to society.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Child, Preschool
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Efficiency / physiology*
  • Europe / epidemiology
  • Health Care Costs*
  • Health Facilities / economics
  • Health Facilities / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Internet
  • Otitis Media / economics*
  • Otitis Media / epidemiology*
  • Otitis Media / psychology
  • Surveys and Questionnaires