Table 8
Author, date and countryPatient groupStudy type (level of evidence)OutcomesKey resultsStudy weaknesses
Rosenfeld RM et al, 1994, USA33 trials including 5400 children with acute otitis mediaMeta-analysisComplete clinical resolution of signs (primary control)Compared with placebo or no drug, antimicrobial therapy increased primary control by 13.7% (8.2% to 19.2%) (NNT=7)Outcome not patient oriented
Antibiotics v no antibiotics
Glasziou PP et al, 2000, UK7 trials with patient related outcomes. Total inclusion of 2202 children with acute otitis mediaSystematic reviewPain at 24 hoursNo differenceOnly one episode of mastoiditis in all the trials
Pain between 2 and 7 days28% (CI 15%, 38%) relative reduction with antibiotics (NNT=17)
Antibiotics v no antibiotics
Hearing between 1 and 3 monthsNo significant difference