Children with glue ear receiving best care, following promotion of NICE guidance
Doctors are successfully following NICE guidelines on the surgical management of glue ear, following a drive to boost awareness of the guidance, a study has found.
Glue ear is a common childhood condition where fluid builds up in the middle ear. It is estimated that 90 per cent of all children in England will have at least one episode of glue ear by the time that they are 10 years of age, with cases more common during the winter months.
In order to investigate compliance to the NICE guidelines on the surgical management of glue ear, or otitis media with effusion (OME), in children, an audit was carried out among doctors working in the ear, nose and throat (ENT) departments across three London hospitals.
Published in 2008, the guideline makes recommendations about the complete assessment of children under 12 including the tests that should be carried out to diagnose OME, which children will benefit from surgical intervention and the effectiveness of surgical and non-surgical interventions.
Led by Dr Afroze Khan and Dr Elliot Benjamin, from Charing Cross Hospital, London, the study found that only 59 per cent of patients who had been seen at Charing Cross, St Mary's and Chelsea and Westminster hospital were on the care pathway outlined in the NICE guidelines.
In order to improve compliance to NICE guidance, an awareness campaign was launched to ensure that all doctors working in ENT were made aware of the guidance. This involved teaching modules on the guidance, weekly team meetings, emails to all the doctors and the use of posters to better inform their decisions when selecting patients for grommet surgery.
Following the awareness drive, compliance to NICE guidance increased to 82 per cent among the ENT doctors.
Study lead Dr Afroze Khan said: “It was the policy of the ENT department to adopt the NICE guidance to demonstrate our adherence to the principle of evidence-based medicine.
“The guidance proved helpful in that it provided a systematic approach to dealing with OME in children under 12 years of age.
“After the first audit cycle we noted that our compliance to NICE guidance was good overall but was significantly lacking in some areas. So, in order to improve compliance we increased awareness of the NICE guidance in the form of teaching, email memoranda and finally a poster. The 2nd audit cycle demonstrated the success of these measures.”
4 November 2010