Screening for otitis media with effusion in preschool children

Lancet. 1989 Feb 11;1(8633):311-4. doi: 10.1016/s0140-6736(89)91317-2.


1439 Dutch children were included in a randomised trial to evaluate the efficacy of preschool screening for otitis media with effusion (OME) by 3-monthly tympanometry. Children with bilateral OME on two consecutive occasions were referred for further investigation and then, if parents gave their consent, allocated at random to treatment or non-treatment groups. The effect of childhood screening for OME and subsequent treatment was evaluated by assessment of language performance; no benefit was found, mainly because of the large degree of spontaneous recovery.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Language Development
  • Male
  • Mass Screening / methods*
  • Middle Ear Ventilation
  • Netherlands
  • Otitis Media with Effusion / epidemiology*
  • Otitis Media with Effusion / therapy
  • Pilot Projects
  • Random Allocation