Ear tubes in children with otitis media reduce parental sick leave from work and socioeconomic costs

Louise Jürgens*, Michael Lyscher, Thomas Qvist Barrett, Peter Koefoed Tingsgaard, Lene Dahl Siggard


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INTRODUCTION. This study aimed to investigate changes in parental sick leave after tympanostomy tube (TT) insertion in children with otitis media (OM) and to estimate the overall cost reduction in case of decreased caregiver sick leave from work during a 12-month period after TT insertion. METHODS. A total of 4,708 children < 12 years from the database of the Danish ENT Specialists Organisation were included. Questionnaires were sent two days prior to TT insertion and subsequently 1, 3, 6, 9, 12, 15, 18, 21 and 24 months after TT insertion. The questions included symptom duration, patient satisfaction and symptom relief. Furthermore, parental sick leave occurrence was registered before and after TT insertion. The overall cost reduction estimate was based on comparison of the direct and indirect costs of two treatment regimes. Treatment A was non-surgical and antibiotics only. Treatment B comprised TT insertion and antibiotics as needed. RESULTS. The main results were that the risk of parental sick leave decreased significantly (p < 0.005) one month after TT insertion compared with baseline; odds ratio = 0.21 (95% confidence interval: 0.19-0.24). The decrease remained stable during the entire follow-up period. The estimate of the total cost reduction between Treatment A (non-TT insertion) and Treatment B (TT insertion) was 3,118.34 DKK/child/year. CONCLUSION. TT insertion is associated with a significant decrease in parental sick leave and may possibly contribute to substantial socioeconomic savings.

TidsskriftDanish Medical Journal
Udgave nummer8
StatusUdgivet - 1 aug. 2023

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Articles published in the DMJ are “open access”. This means that the articles are distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial License, which permits any non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author(s) and source are credited.


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