Our experience of chronic suppurative otitis media at a children's
hospital over 10 years
1. The prevalence of chronic suppurative otitis media (CSOM) is
influenced by socioeconomic status and therefore reported to be low in
developed countries. 2. Māori and Pacific peoples were overrepresented
in this cohort of patients and were more likely to have severe disease.
3. Diagnosing CSOM relies on the patient being seen multiple times by a
general practitioner. However, due to the critical shortage of primary
healthcare workers in New Zealand this is often not possible and can
lead to the disease going undiagnosed for prolonged periods of time. 4.
Children whose hearing was worse pre-operatively were more likely to
have a significant improvement in hearing postoperatively. 5. This is
the first study to highlight ethnic disparities in children with CSOM in
New Zealand. Addressing health inequities is an important strategy, but
a systemic change may be required to achieve sustained equity for these
minority ethnic groups.