Childhood hospitalisation for otitis media in Western Australia: A 10 year retrospective analysis

Nicholas Liu, Estie Kruger, Marc Tennant

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    The aim of this study was to assess the prevalence of hospitalisation for otitis media across the different risk indicators for Western Australian children (less than 15 years old) over a 10-year period.
    This retrospective population-based study used the de-identified detailed data of children under the age of 15 years, hospitalised for otitis media (OM), as determined by principal diagnosis (ICD-10AM) and obtained from the Western Australian (WA) Hospital Morbidity Dataset for 10 financial years from 1999-2000 to 2008-2009. Various risk indicators, including age, gender, Indigenous status, insurance status, hospital area, hospital type, and length of stay were also analysed.
    Out of 26,294 cases of in-hospital care, Indigenous children comprised 4.7 per cent (n=1,226), while the non-Indigenous children comprised 95.3 per cent (n=25,068). The majority of the children, nearly 98.8 per cent, were admitted for chronic OM. The children were grouped into three age groups, namely, 0-4 years, 5-9 years, and 10-14 years. Nearly two-thirds of all cases were in the 0-4-year age group. Significantly more non-Indigenous (51 per cent) than Indigenous children (2 per cent) had private health insurance. The hospitalisation rates were directly proportional between the number of Indigenous children living in the area and the increasing remoteness of the area along with greater socioeconomic disadvantage. There were 24 per cent more cases from very remote areas compared to highly accessible areas, and there were 60 per cent more cases from the most disadvantaged socioeconomic category, compared with the least disadvantaged category, for Indigenous children.
    These data depict the variations in prevalence of otitis media hospitalisations within the community, as affected by various risk indicators.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)64-70
    Number of pages7
    JournalAustralian Medical Journal
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 2016


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