Publications by authors named "Chantal W B Boonacker"

13 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Parental Attitude Toward the Prenatal Diagnosis of Oral Cleft: A Prospective Cohort Study.

Cleft Palate Craniofac J 2018 Jan 1:1055665618763337. Epub 2018 Jan 1.

2 Julius Center for Health Sciences and Primary Care, University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht, The Netherlands.

Objectives: The prenatal diagnosis of oral clefts (OCs) by ultrasound can pose an ethical dilemma. The purpose of this study was to obtain insight into the psychosocial and moral considerations of prospective parents concerning OCs, the burden of OCs and parents' attitude toward possible termination of pregnancy (TOP) in order to improve counseling in the future.

Design: Between August 2011 and August 2014, a prospective cohort questionnaire study was administered.

Setting: Prenatal care clinic of the Wilhelmina's Children hospital, a Tertiary Care Centre.

Participants: Parents expecting a child with an OC.

Main Outcome Measures: Expectation of OCs in general and attitudes toward the impact and expected burden of the OC of their child. Furthermore, parents were asked if they had considered TOP.

Results: Most of the parents described an OC as a cosmetic disability (50.6%) or as "just a little different" (29.4%). These parents expected that the OC would not affect their own happiness and have only minor influence on the happiness of their future child. Health professionals had a considerable influence on parental opinion. A minority (6.4%, 5/85) of the respondents considered TOP, and none of the responders chose to terminate the pregnancy.

Conclusions: This study suggests that future parents have very few negative perceptions of OC after prenatal counseling. Caregivers should be aware that their counseling is important for decision-making of parents.
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January 2018

A practical prenatal ultrasound classification system for common oral clefts.

Prenat Diagn 2015 Sep 14;35(9):894-900. Epub 2015 Jul 14.

Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Wilhelmina Children's Hospital, University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht, the Netherlands.

Objective: Our aim is to introduce and validate a new oral cleft classification system based on prenatal ultrasound for use by professionals in daily practice.

Methods: During a 3-year period (2011-2014), all cases of prenatal oral cleft diagnosed by ultrasound were retrospectively reviewed. A new prenatal ultrasound classification system was introduced. For the purpose of validation, prenatal ultrasound images of oral cleft types were described according to the new classification system and were compared with postnatal findings by reviewing medical records.

Results: A total of 103 fetuses with oral cleft were identified by ultrasound. The mean gestation time at detection was 20.4 weeks (95% confidence intervals: 20.0-20.7). The association between oral cleft and other anomalies varied by cleft type; types 2b/3b and 4 were most frequently associated with other anomalies. The measure of agreement between the prenatal and postnatal findings showed a Kappa value of 0.63 (95% confidence intervals: 0.52-0.75), demonstrating the accuracy of this new classification system.

Conclusion: A new prenatal oral cleft classification system is presented. This system appears to be accurate, and it shows the variation in the risk of associated anomalies for each cleft type. We expect that ultrasonographers will be able to use the new classification in daily practice.
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September 2015

Professional opinion on oral cleft during pregnancy: a comparison between Israel and The Netherlands.

Prenat Diagn 2015 Jun 1;35(6):544-8. Epub 2015 Mar 1.

Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Wilhelmina Children's Hospital, University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht, The Netherlands.

Objective: The aim of this study was to assess the opinion of obstetric care providers who perform prenatal ultrasounds to screen for anomalies and who advise women about their options, including termination of pregnancy, when an oral cleft is detected. We compared providers' opinions about pregnancy termination for isolated oral cleft in The Netherlands, where the number of terminations is low, and in Israel, where the number is high.

Methods: Online questionnaires were used. The questions assessed the providers' views regarding the estimated burden of treatment, the functioning ability, and the level of happiness of children with an oral cleft and their parents. Additionally, we assessed providers' opinions on pregnancy termination for isolated oral cleft.

Results: In The Netherlands, more professionals considered oral cleft a disability (rate differences 17.8%, 95% confidence interval: 0.5-33.1%) than in Israel. In the Netherlands, 10.6% of respondents (compared with 11.1% in Israel) thought that an isolated cleft was a reason for terminations of pregnancy (TOP) (rate differences 0.6%, 95% confidence interval: -12% to 10.9%).

Conclusions: Prenatal care providers in The Netherlands and Israel do not differ in their opinions about the severity of oral cleft and the acceptability of TOP for an isolated oral cleft. This study shows that prenatal care providers' attitudes do therefore not explain the dramatic difference between these countries in the number of TOP for isolated oral cleft.
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June 2015

Clinical and laboratory predictors of chronic immune thrombocytopenia in children: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

Blood 2014 Nov 10;124(22):3295-307. Epub 2014 Oct 10.

Department of Pediatric Hematology and Oncology, University Medical Center Utrecht/Wilhelmina Children's Hospital, Utrecht, The Netherlands;

Childhood immune thrombocytopenia (ITP) is a rare autoimmune bleeding disorder. Most children recover within 6 to 12 months, but individual course is difficult to predict. We performed a systematic review and meta-analysis to identify predictors of chronic ITP. We found 1399 articles; after critical appraisal, 54 studies were included. The following predictors of chronic ITP in children, assessed in at least 3 studies, have been identified: female gender (odds ratio [OR] 1.17, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.04-1.31), older age at presentation (age ≥11 years; OR 2.47, 95% CI 1.94-3.15), no preceding infection or vaccination (OR 3.08, 95 CI 2.19-4.32), insidious onset (OR 11.27, 95% CI 6.27-20.27), higher platelet counts at presentation (≥20 × 10(9)/L: OR 2.15, 95% CI 1.63-2.83), presence of antinuclear antibodies (OR 2.87, 95% 1.57-5.24), and treatment with a combination of methylprednisolone and intravenous immunoglobulin (OR 2.67, 95% CI 1.44-4.96). Children with mucosal bleeding at diagnosis or treatment with intravenous immunoglobulin alone developed chronic ITP less often (OR 0.39, 95% CI 0.28-0.54 and OR 0.71, 95% CI 0.52-0.97, respectively). The protective effect of intravenous immunoglobulin is remarkable and needs confirmation in prospective randomized trials as well as future laboratory studies to elucidate the mechanism of this effect.
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November 2014

Pneumococcal conjugate vaccines for preventing otitis media.

Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2014 Apr 2(4):CD001480. Epub 2014 Apr 2.

Julius Center for Health Sciences and Primary Care, University Medical Center Utrecht, HP: Str. 6.131, PO Box 85500, Utrecht, Netherlands, 3508 GA.

Background: Acute otitis media (AOM) is a very common respiratory infection in early infancy and childhood. The marginal benefits of antibiotics for AOM in low-risk populations in general, the increasing problem of bacterial resistance to antibiotics and the huge estimated direct and indirect annual costs associated with otitis media (OM) have prompted a search for effective vaccines to prevent AOM.

Objectives: To assess the effect of pneumococcal conjugate vaccines (PCVs) in preventing AOM in children up to 12 years of age.

Search Methods: We searched CENTRAL (2013, Issue 11), MEDLINE (1995 to November week 3, 2013), EMBASE (1995 to December 2013), CINAHL (2007 to December 2013), LILACS (2007 to December 2013) and Web of Science (2007 to December 2013).

Selection Criteria: Randomised controlled trials (RCTs) of PCVs to prevent AOM in children aged 12 years or younger, with a follow-up of at least six months after vaccination.

Data Collection And Analysis: Two review authors independently assessed trial quality and extracted data.

Main Results: We included 11 publications of nine RCTs (n = 48,426 children, range 74 to 37,868 per study) of 7- to 11-valent PCV (with different carrier proteins). Five trials (n = 47,108) included infants, while four trials (n = 1318) included children aged one to seven years that were either healthy (one study, n = 264) or had a previous history of upper respiratory tract infection (URTI), including AOM. We judged the methodological quality of the included studies to be moderate to high. There was considerable clinical diversity between studies in terms of study population, type of conjugate vaccine and outcome measures. We therefore refrained from pooling the results.In three studies, the 7-valent PCV with CRM197 as carrier protein (CRM197-PCV7) administered during early infancy was associated with a relative risk reduction (RRR) of all-cause AOM ranging from -5% in high-risk children (95% confidence interval (CI) -25% to 12%) to 7% in low-risk children (95% CI 4% to 9%). Another 7-valent PCV with the outer membrane protein complex of Neisseria meningitidis (N. meningitidis) serogroup B as carrier protein, administered in infancy, did not reduce overall AOM episodes, while a precursor 11-valent PCV with Haemophilus influenzae (H. influenzae) protein D as carrier protein was associated with a RRR of all-cause AOM episodes of 34% (95% CI 21% to 44%).A 9-valent PCV (with CRM197 carrier protein) administered in healthy toddlers was associated with a RRR of (parent-reported) OM episodes of 17% (95% CI -2% to 33%). CRM197-PCV7 followed by 23-valent pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccination administered after infancy in older children with a history of AOM showed no beneficial effect on first occurrence and later AOM episodes. In a study in older children with a previously diagnosed respiratory tract infection, performed during the influenza season, a trivalent influenza vaccine combined with placebo (TIV/placebo) led to fewer all-cause AOM episodes than vaccination with TIV and PCV7 (TIV/PCV7) when compared to hepatitis B vaccination and placebo (HBV/placebo) (RRR 71%, 95% CI 30% to 88% versus RRR 57%, 95% CI 6% to 80%, respectively) indicating that CRM197-PCV7 after infancy may even have negative effects on AOM.

Authors' Conclusions: Based on current evidence of the effects of PCVs for preventing AOM, the licensed 7-valent CRM197-PCV7 has modest beneficial effects in healthy infants with a low baseline risk of AOM. Administering PCV7 in high-risk infants, after early infancy and in older children with a history of AOM, appears to have no benefit in preventing further episodes. Currently, several RCTs with different (newly licensed, multivalent) PCVs administered during early infancy are ongoing to establish their effects on AOM. Results of these studies may provide a better understanding of the role of the newly licensed, multivalent PCVs in preventing AOM. Also the impact on AOM of the carrier protein D, as used in certain pneumococcal vaccines, needs to be further established.
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April 2014

Adenoidectomy with or without grommets for children with otitis media: an individual patient data meta-analysis.

Health Technol Assess 2014 Jan;18(5):1-118

Department of Otorhinolaryngology, John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford, UK.

Background: Otitis media (OM) is a leading cause of medical consultations, antibiotic prescription and surgery in children. The surgical procedures offered to children with recurrent or persistent OM are insertion of grommets, adenoidectomy or a combination of the two. There is clear National Institute for Health and Care Excellence guidance for the use of grommets in subgroups of children with persistent OM with effusion (OME), but similar guidance is not available for adenoidectomy, either in persistent OME or in recurrent acute OM (AOM).

Objectives: (1) To develop a model to predict the risk of children referred for adenoidectomy having a prolonged duration of their OM. Then, (2a) to evaluate the overall effect of adenoidectomy, with or without grommets, on OM using individual patient data (IPD) and (2b) to identify those subgroups of children who are most likely to benefit from adenoidectomy with or without grommets.

Data Sources: A number of electronic databases were searched from their inception including the Cochrane Ear, Nose and Throat Disorders Group Trials Register, the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL), PubMed, EMBASE, the Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature (CINAHL), metaRegister of Current Controlled Trials (mRCT),, International Clinical Trials Registry Platform (ICTRP), and Google.

Review Methods: Studies eligible for inclusion in this IPD meta-analysis were randomised controlled trials (RCTs) in children up to 12 years of age diagnosed with recurrent AOM and/or persistent OME in which adenoidectomy (with or without grommets) was compared with non-surgical treatment or grommets alone. The final selection of eligible studies and the quality assessment were carried out according to standard methods and disagreement was resolved by discussion.

Results: A total of 503 articles were identified of which 10 trials were included in the meta-analysis; eight of these were at a low risk of bias and two were at moderate risk. The primary outcome was failure at 12 months, defined by a set of persisting symptoms and signs. In the prognostic analysis 56% of those children referred for adenoidectomy (but randomised to the non-surgical group) failed to improve (38% of the children with recurrent AOM and 89% of the children with persistent OME). Children who had adenoidectomy had a greater chance of clinical improvement. The size of that effect is, in general, small but persists for at least 2 years. Two subgroups of children are most likely to benefit from adenoidectomy: first, children aged < 2 years with recurrent AOM - 16% of those who had adenoidectomy failed at 12 months whereas 27% of those who did not have adenoidectomy failed [rate difference (RD) 12%, 95% confidence interval (Cl) 6% to 18%; number needed to treat (NNT) = 9]; second, children aged ≥ 4 years with persistent OME - 51% of those who had adenoidectomy failed at 12 months whereas 70% of those who did not have adenoidectomy failed (RD 19%, 95% Cl 12% to 26%; NNT = 6). No significant benefit of adenoidectomy was found in children aged ≥ 2 years with recurrent AOM and children aged < 4 years with persistent OME.

Limitations: The need to use a composite end point and the limited number of subgroup variables that could be studied are factors that reduce the robustness of these results; however, we do not believe that this reduces the validity of the conclusions.

Conclusions: Adenoidectomy is most beneficial in children with persistent OME aged ≥ 4 years. A smaller beneficial effect was found in children with recurrent AOM aged < 2 years. Consideration must be given to the balance between benefits and harms. Future research is required in a number of key areas, including defining the best methods of selecting, developing and administering patient-reported outcome measures to assess the value of treatments for children with persistent OME and recurrent AOM and upper respiratory infections; investigating the clinical effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of hearing aids (air or bone conduction) and the use of interventions to improve classroom acoustics for children with different degrees of persistence and severity of hearing loss associated with OME; and investigating why professionals' and parents'/carers' treatment preferences vary so much both nationally and internationally. We do not understand why adenoidectomy works in different subgroups at different ages, nor its effects in special populations, such as children with Down syndrome. We also need further research on the impact and optimal management of otitis media in these special situations and others, such as in children with a cleft palate or developmental problems.

Study Registration: The study is registered as PROSPERO CRD42011001549.

Funding: The National Institute for Health Research Health Technology Assessment programme.
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January 2014

Immediate adenoidectomy vs initial watchful waiting strategy in children with recurrent upper respiratory tract infections: an economic evaluation.

JAMA Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg 2013 Feb;139(2):129-33

Julius Center for Health Sciences and Primary Care, University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht, the Netherlands.

Objective: To compare the costs associated with 2 clinical strategies in children with recurrent upper respiratory tract infections (URTIs): immediate adenoidectomy vs an initial watchful waiting strategy.

Design: A cost-minimization analysis from a societal perspective including both direct and indirect costs, alongside an open randomized controlled trial with a 2-year follow-up.

Setting: Multicenter study, including 11 general and 2 university hospitals in the Netherlands.

Patients: The study population comprised 111 children aged 1 through 6 years, selected for adenoidectomy for recurrent URTIs according to current clinical practice.

Intervention: A strategy of immediate adenoidectomy with or without myringotomy or a strategy of initial watchful waiting.

Main Outcomes Measures: Difference in median costs during the 2-year follow-up.

Results: The median total of direct and indirect costs in the adenoidectomy and watchful waiting group were €1385 (US $1995) and €844 (US $1216) per patient, respectively. The extra costs in the adenoidectomy group are primarily attributable to surgery and visits to the otorhinolaryngologist. Other costs did not differ significantly between the groups.

Conclusions: In children selected for adenoidectomy for recurrent URTIs, immediate adenoidectomy results in an increase in costs, whereas it confers no clinical benefit over an initial watchful waiting strategy.

Trial Registration: Identifier:NTR968; Identifier:ISRCTN03720485.
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February 2013

Associations between pathogens in the upper respiratory tract of young children: interplay between viruses and bacteria.

PLoS One 2012 17;7(10):e47711. Epub 2012 Oct 17.

Department of Pediatric Immunology and Infectious Diseases, Wilhelmina Children's Hospital, University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht, The Netherlands.

Background: High rates of potentially pathogenic bacteria and respiratory viruses can be detected in the upper respiratory tract of healthy children. Investigating presence of and associations between these pathogens in healthy individuals is still a rather unexplored field of research, but may have implications for interpreting findings during disease.

Methodology/principal Findings: We selected 986 nasopharyngeal samples from 433 6- to 24-month-old healthy children that had participated in a randomized controlled trial. We determined the presence of 20 common respiratory viruses using real-time PCR. Streptococcus pneumoniae, Haemophilus influenzae, Moraxella catarrhalis and Staphylococcus aureus were identified by conventional culture methods. Information on risk factors was obtained by questionnaires. We performed multivariate logistic regression analyses followed by partial correlation analysis to identify the overall pattern of associations. S. pneumoniae colonization was positively associated with the presence of H. influenzae (adjusted odds ratio 1.60, 95% confidence interval 1.18-2.16), M. catarrhalis (1.78, 1.29-2.47), human rhinoviruses (1.63, 1.19-2.22) and enteroviruses (1.97, 1.26-3.10), and negatively associated with S. aureus presence (0.59, 0.35-0.98). H. influenzae was positively associated with human rhinoviruses (1.63, 1.22-2.18) and respiratory syncytial viruses (2.78, 1.06-7.28). M. catarrhalis colonization was positively associated with coronaviruses (1.99, 1.01-3.93) and adenoviruses (3.69, 1.29-10.56), and negatively with S. aureus carriage (0.42, 0.25-0.69). We observed a strong positive association between S. aureus and influenza viruses (4.87, 1.59-14.89). In addition, human rhinoviruses and enteroviruses were positively correlated (2.40, 1.66-3.47), as were enteroviruses and human bocavirus, WU polyomavirus, parainfluenza viruses, and human parechovirus. A negative association was observed between human rhinoviruses and coronaviruses.

Conclusions/significance: Our data revealed high viral and bacterial prevalence rates and distinct bacterial-bacterial, viral-bacterial and viral-viral associations in healthy children, hinting towards the complexity and potential dynamics of microbial communities in the upper respiratory tract. This warrants careful consideration when associating microbial presence with specific respiratory diseases.
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April 2013

A comparison of subgroup analyses in grant applications and publications.

Am J Epidemiol 2011 Jul 19;174(2):219-25. Epub 2011 May 19.

Julius Center for Health Sciences and Primary Care, University Medical Center Utrecht, the Netherlands.

In this paper, the authors compare subgroup analyses as outlined in grant applications and their related publications. Grants awarded by the Netherlands Organization for Health Research and Development (ZonMw) from 2001 onward that were finalized before March 1, 2010, were studied. Of the 79 grant proposals, 50 (63%) were intervention studies, 18 (23%) were diagnostic studies, and 6 (8%) were prognostic studies. Subgroups were mentioned in 49 (62%) grant applications and in 53 (67%) publications. In 20 of the 79 projects (25%), the publications were completely in agreement with the grant proposal; that is, subgroups that were prespecified in the grant proposal were reported and no new subgroup analyses were introduced in the publications. Of the 149 prespecified subgroups, 46 (31%) were reported in the final report or scientific publications, and 143 of the 189 (76%) reported subgroups were based on post-hoc findings. For 77% of the subgroup analyses in the publications, there was no mention of whether these were prespecified or post hoc. Justification for subgroup analysis and methods to study subgroups were rarely reported. The authors conclude that there is a large discrepancy between grant applications and final publications regarding subgroup analyses. Both nonreporting prespecified subgroup analyses and reporting post-hoc subgroup analyses are common. More guidance is clearly needed.
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July 2011

Cost effectiveness of pneumococcal conjugate vaccination against acute otitis media in children: a review.

Pharmacoeconomics 2011 Mar;29(3):199-211

Julius Center for Health Sciences and Primary Care, University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht, the Netherlands.

While pneumococcal conjugate vaccines have shown to be highly effective against invasive pneumococcal disease, their potential effectiveness against acute otitis media (AOM) might become a major economic driver for implementing these vaccines in national immunization programmes. However, the relationship between the costs and benefits of available vaccines remains a controversial topic. Our objective is to systematically review the literature on the cost effectiveness of pneumococcal conjugate vaccination against AOM in children. We searched PubMed, Cochrane and the Centre for Reviews and Dissemination databases (Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effects [DARE], NHS Economic Evaluation Database [NHS EED] and Health Technology Assessment database [HTA]) from inception until 18 February 2010. We used the following keywords with their synonyms: 'otitis media', 'children', 'cost-effectiveness', 'costs' and 'vaccine'. Costs per AOM episode averted were calculated based on the information in this literature. A total of 21 studies evaluating the cost effectiveness of pneumococcal conjugate vaccines were included. The quality of the included studies was moderate to good. The cost per AOM episode averted varied from &U20AC;168 to &U20AC;4214, and assumed incidence rates varied from 20,952 to 118,000 per 100,000 children aged 0-10 years. Assumptions regarding direct and indirect costs varied between studies. The assumed vaccine efficacy of the 7-valent pneumococcal CRM197-conjugate vaccine was mainly adopted from two trials, which reported 6-8% efficacy. However, some studies assumed additional effects such as herd immunity or only took into account AOM episodes caused by serotypes included in the vaccine, which resulted in efficacy rates varying from 12% to 57%. Costs per AOM episode averted were inversely related to the assumed incidence rates of AOM and to the estimated costs per AOM episode. The median costs per AOM episode averted tended to be lower in industry-sponsored studies. Key assumptions regarding the incidence and costs of AOM episodes have major implications for the estimated cost effectiveness of pneumococcal conjugate vaccination against AOM. Uniform methods for estimating direct and indirect costs of AOM should be agreed upon to reliably compare the cost effectiveness of available and future pneumococcal vaccines against AOM.
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March 2011

Interventions in health care professionals to improve treatment in children with upper respiratory tract infections.

Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol 2010 Oct 6;74(10):1113-21. Epub 2010 Aug 6.

Julius Center for Health Sciences and Primary Care, University Medical Center Utrecht, The Netherlands.

Objective: To analyse which strategies are used to promote evidence based interventions in the management of children with upper respiratory tract infections (URTIs) in daily practice. To assess the effectiveness of these interventions, and when more are effective--which works best. And to analyse the costs associated with these interventions.

Methods: We systematically searched Pubmed, Embase and CENTRAL bibliographies for studies on the effectiveness of strategies aimed at changing health care professionals' behavior in the management of children with URTIs.

Results: The search yielded 11,788 references, of which 18 studies were eligible, and 10 met the inclusion criteria. Most strategies were aimed at changing antibiotic prescribing behavior in children with acute otitis media. All strategies used (i.e. computer interventions, educational sessions with or without education materials, collaborative development of guidelines and a training video in combination with a risk factor checklist) were effective in changing health care professionals practice regarding children with URTIs. Multifaceted and computer strategies work best. Computer interventions reduced antibiotic prescribing by 4% and 34% and increased guideline compliance by 41%. Educational sessions combined with education materials reduced inappropriate antibiotic prescription by 2% and 17% and increased knowledge of compliance enhancing strategies by 28% and 29%. Collaborative guideline development combined with educational materials reduced inappropriate antibiotic prescription by 24% and 40%. Finally, by a combination of a training video and a risk factor checklist appropriate referrals by the GP to the otolaryngologist increased by 37%. Since the costs associated with the interventions were not explicitly mentioned in the articles, no conclusion on cost-effectiveness can be drawn.

Conclusion: Multifaceted and computer strategies appear to be most effective to put evidence into practice in the area of URTIs in children.
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October 2010

Parental experiences and attitudes regarding the management of acute otitis media--a comparative questionnaire between Finland and The Netherlands.

Fam Pract 2009 Dec 3;26(6):488-92. Epub 2009 Sep 3.

Department of Pediatrics, Turku University Hospital, PL 52, 20521 Turku, Finland.

Background: Both treatment guidelines and the amount of antibiotics used for acute otitis media (AOM) vary across western countries. Parental expectations and their awareness of antimicrobial use and resistance, which may also be influenced by the guidelines, are not yet completely known.

Objective: To compare parental experiences and opinions regarding the management of AOM in children with AOM in Finland and The Netherlands.

Methods: We sent the questionnaires via public day care in Turku, Finland, and Utrecht, The Netherlands. We asked about family background, child's history of AOM and parental experiences and attitudes about AOM treatment and antimicrobial resistance.

Results: Of 1151 participants, 83% in Finland and 49% in The Netherlands had had at least one episode of AOM. Antibiotics were used more frequently in Finland than in The Netherlands, 99% versus 78%, respectively. More Finnish parents reported to believe that antibiotics are necessary in the treatment of AOM as compared to Dutch parents. Use of analgesics for AOM was similar (80% in Finland and 86% in The Netherlands). One-third of the parents had discussed resistance with their doctor. According to parental experiences, antimicrobial resistance had caused more problems in Finland than in The Netherlands (20% versus 2%). Finally, 88% of parents in Finland and 65% in The Netherlands were worried that bacteria could become resistant to antibiotics.

Conclusions: Treatment practices and parental expectations seem to interact with each other. Therefore, if we aim to change AOM treatment practices, we have to modify both guidelines and parental expectations.
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December 2009

Trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole in children with chronic otitis media: a randomized comparison of costs and effects.

Otol Neurotol 2008 Oct;29(7):961-4

Julius Center for Health Sciences and Primary Care, Wilhelmina Children's Hospital, University Medical Center Utrecht, The Netherlands.

Objective: To study the cost-effectiveness of a 6- to 12-week course of high-dose oral trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole in children with chronic active otitis media (COM).

Study Design: Cost-effectiveness study including both direct and indirect costs alongside a randomized placebo-controlled trial.

Setting: Tertiary care university hospital in the Netherlands.

Patients: One hundred one children aged 1 to 12 years with a documented history of COM for at least 3 months.

Intervention: Six to 12 weeks of oral trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole 18 mg/kg twice daily versus placebo.

Main Outcome Measures: Incremental cost-effectiveness in terms of costs per number needed to treat (NNT) to cure 1 patient (incremental cost-effectiveness ratio [ICER]). Curation was defined as no otomicroscopic signs of otorrhea in either ear.

Results: After 6 weeks of follow-up, the difference in mean cost per patient between the trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole and placebo groups was Euro100 (US $126). The NNT was 4 (clinical effect), and the corresponding ICER was Euro400 (US $504), that is, the average extra costs to cure 1 child from otorrhea is Euro400 (US $504). After 12 weeks of follow-up, the difference in mean costs between both groups was Euro159 (US $201), the NNT was 7, and the corresponding ICER was Euro1,113 (US $1,407).The mean costs after 1 year of follow-up were Euro1,601 (US $2,021) in the trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole group and Euro1,164 (US $1,469) in the placebo group. Because the clinical effect of trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole disappeared after its discontinuation, we did not calculate an ICER at 1 year of follow-up.

Conclusion: In children with active COM, direct and indirect costs of a 6- to 12-week course of high-dose oral trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole are modest in the light of its short-term clinical benefit.
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October 2008