Surgery for Otitis Media in a Universal Health Care Model: Socioeconomic Status and Race/Ethnicity Effects

    loading  Checking for direct PDF access through Ovid



(1) To determine the association between socioeconomic status (SES), race/ethnicity, and other demographic risk factors in surgically managed otitis media within a model of universal health care. 2) To determine quality of life (QOL) outcomes of surgically managed otitis media in this model.


Tertiary academic medical center.

Study Design

Prospective cohort study.


A prospective study was conducted between June 2011 and December 2012 with dependent children of military families. TRICARE provides equal access to care among all beneficiaries regardless of a wide range of annual incomes. Caretakers of children scheduled for bilateral myringotomy and tympanostomy tube (BMT) placement were administered a demographic survey, as well as OM-6 QOL instrument preoperatively and 6 weeks postoperatively. A control group who did not undergo BMT was also administered both the survey and OM-6 for comparison.


Two hundred forty patients were enrolled (120 surgical patients and 120 controls). Logistic regression demonstrated age younger than 6 years old (P < .001), day care attendance (P < .001), and non-Hispanic Caucasian race (P = .022) to be associated with surgery. Surgical QOL outcomes demonstrated a significant improvement in otitis media-6 (OM-6) scores after surgical management from 3.00 (95% confidence interval [CI], 2.79-3.20) to 1.35 (95% CI, 1.22-1.47).


In a universal health care model serving more than 2 million children, previously reported proxies of low SES as well as minority race/ethnicity were not associated with surgically managed otitis media contrary to reported literature. Caucasian race, young age, and day care attendance were associated with surgery. Surgery improved QOL outcomes 6 weeks postoperatively.

Related Topics

    loading  Loading Related Articles