The Kalgoorlie Otitis Media Research Project: rationale, methods, population characteristics and ethical considerations

Deborah Lehmann, A. Arumugaswamy, D. Elsbury, J. Finucane, A. Stokes, R. Monck, Christine Jeffries-Stokes, D. Mcaullay, Harvey Coates, Fiona Stanley

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Abstract

Otitis media (OM) is one of the most common paediatric illnesses for which medical advice is sought in developed countries. Australian Aboriginal children suffer high rates of OM from early infancy. The resultant hearing loss can affect education and quality of life. As numerous factors contribute to the burden of OM, interventions aimed at reducing the impact of single risk factors are likely to fail. To identify key risk factors and understand how they interact in complex causal pathways, we followed 100 Aboriginal and 180 non-Aboriginal children from birth to age 2 years in a semi-arid zone of Western Australia. We collected demographic, obstetric, socio-economic and environmental data, breast milk once, and nasopharyngeal samples and saliva on seven occasions. Ear health was assessed by clinical examination, tympanometry, transient evoked otoacoustic emissions and audiometry. We considered the conduct of our study in relation to national ethical guidelines for research in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health. After 1 year of community consultation, the study was endorsed by local committees and ethical approval granted. Fieldwork was tailored to minimise disruption to people's lives and we provided regular feedback to the community.We saw 81% of non-Aboriginal and 65% of Aboriginal children at age 12 months. OM was diagnosed on 55% and 26% of routine clinical examinations in Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal children respectively. Aboriginal mothers were younger and less educated, fewer were employed and they lived in more crowded conditions than non-Aboriginal mothers. Sixty-four per cent of Aboriginal and 40% of non-Aboriginal babies were exposed to environmental tobacco smoke. Early consultation, provision of a service while undertaking research, inclusion of Aboriginal people as active members of a research team and appropriate acknowledgement will assist in ensuring successful completion of the research.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)60-71
JournalPaediatric and Perinatal Epidemiology
Volume22
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2008

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Otitis Media
Population Characteristics
Research
Referral and Consultation
Mothers
Acoustic Impedance Tests
Audiometry
Western Australia
Health
Human Milk
Hearing Loss
Saliva
Developed Countries
Smoke
Obstetrics
Tobacco
Ear
Economics
Quality of Life
Demography

Cite this

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abstract = "Otitis media (OM) is one of the most common paediatric illnesses for which medical advice is sought in developed countries. Australian Aboriginal children suffer high rates of OM from early infancy. The resultant hearing loss can affect education and quality of life. As numerous factors contribute to the burden of OM, interventions aimed at reducing the impact of single risk factors are likely to fail. To identify key risk factors and understand how they interact in complex causal pathways, we followed 100 Aboriginal and 180 non-Aboriginal children from birth to age 2 years in a semi-arid zone of Western Australia. We collected demographic, obstetric, socio-economic and environmental data, breast milk once, and nasopharyngeal samples and saliva on seven occasions. Ear health was assessed by clinical examination, tympanometry, transient evoked otoacoustic emissions and audiometry. We considered the conduct of our study in relation to national ethical guidelines for research in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health. After 1 year of community consultation, the study was endorsed by local committees and ethical approval granted. Fieldwork was tailored to minimise disruption to people's lives and we provided regular feedback to the community.We saw 81{\%} of non-Aboriginal and 65{\%} of Aboriginal children at age 12 months. OM was diagnosed on 55{\%} and 26{\%} of routine clinical examinations in Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal children respectively. Aboriginal mothers were younger and less educated, fewer were employed and they lived in more crowded conditions than non-Aboriginal mothers. Sixty-four per cent of Aboriginal and 40{\%} of non-Aboriginal babies were exposed to environmental tobacco smoke. Early consultation, provision of a service while undertaking research, inclusion of Aboriginal people as active members of a research team and appropriate acknowledgement will assist in ensuring successful completion of the research.",
author = "Deborah Lehmann and A. Arumugaswamy and D. Elsbury and J. Finucane and A. Stokes and R. Monck and Christine Jeffries-Stokes and D. Mcaullay and Harvey Coates and Fiona Stanley",
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AU - Lehmann, Deborah

AU - Arumugaswamy, A.

AU - Elsbury, D.

AU - Finucane, J.

AU - Stokes, A.

AU - Monck, R.

AU - Jeffries-Stokes, Christine

AU - Mcaullay, D.

AU - Coates, Harvey

AU - Stanley, Fiona

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N2 - Otitis media (OM) is one of the most common paediatric illnesses for which medical advice is sought in developed countries. Australian Aboriginal children suffer high rates of OM from early infancy. The resultant hearing loss can affect education and quality of life. As numerous factors contribute to the burden of OM, interventions aimed at reducing the impact of single risk factors are likely to fail. To identify key risk factors and understand how they interact in complex causal pathways, we followed 100 Aboriginal and 180 non-Aboriginal children from birth to age 2 years in a semi-arid zone of Western Australia. We collected demographic, obstetric, socio-economic and environmental data, breast milk once, and nasopharyngeal samples and saliva on seven occasions. Ear health was assessed by clinical examination, tympanometry, transient evoked otoacoustic emissions and audiometry. We considered the conduct of our study in relation to national ethical guidelines for research in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health. After 1 year of community consultation, the study was endorsed by local committees and ethical approval granted. Fieldwork was tailored to minimise disruption to people's lives and we provided regular feedback to the community.We saw 81% of non-Aboriginal and 65% of Aboriginal children at age 12 months. OM was diagnosed on 55% and 26% of routine clinical examinations in Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal children respectively. Aboriginal mothers were younger and less educated, fewer were employed and they lived in more crowded conditions than non-Aboriginal mothers. Sixty-four per cent of Aboriginal and 40% of non-Aboriginal babies were exposed to environmental tobacco smoke. Early consultation, provision of a service while undertaking research, inclusion of Aboriginal people as active members of a research team and appropriate acknowledgement will assist in ensuring successful completion of the research.

AB - Otitis media (OM) is one of the most common paediatric illnesses for which medical advice is sought in developed countries. Australian Aboriginal children suffer high rates of OM from early infancy. The resultant hearing loss can affect education and quality of life. As numerous factors contribute to the burden of OM, interventions aimed at reducing the impact of single risk factors are likely to fail. To identify key risk factors and understand how they interact in complex causal pathways, we followed 100 Aboriginal and 180 non-Aboriginal children from birth to age 2 years in a semi-arid zone of Western Australia. We collected demographic, obstetric, socio-economic and environmental data, breast milk once, and nasopharyngeal samples and saliva on seven occasions. Ear health was assessed by clinical examination, tympanometry, transient evoked otoacoustic emissions and audiometry. We considered the conduct of our study in relation to national ethical guidelines for research in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health. After 1 year of community consultation, the study was endorsed by local committees and ethical approval granted. Fieldwork was tailored to minimise disruption to people's lives and we provided regular feedback to the community.We saw 81% of non-Aboriginal and 65% of Aboriginal children at age 12 months. OM was diagnosed on 55% and 26% of routine clinical examinations in Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal children respectively. Aboriginal mothers were younger and less educated, fewer were employed and they lived in more crowded conditions than non-Aboriginal mothers. Sixty-four per cent of Aboriginal and 40% of non-Aboriginal babies were exposed to environmental tobacco smoke. Early consultation, provision of a service while undertaking research, inclusion of Aboriginal people as active members of a research team and appropriate acknowledgement will assist in ensuring successful completion of the research.

U2 - 10.1111/j.1365-3016.2007.00891.x

DO - 10.1111/j.1365-3016.2007.00891.x

M3 - Article

VL - 22

SP - 60

EP - 71

JO - Paediatric & Perinatal Epidemiology

JF - Paediatric & Perinatal Epidemiology

SN - 0269-5022

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ER -