Trends in Pediatric Otolaryngology Disparities Research

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Abstract

Objectives

To describe trends in disparities research within pediatric otolaryngology as evidenced by major meeting presentations and to compare observed trends with those in the realm of patient safety and quality improvement (PSQI).

Study Design

Retrospective review of presentations at national otolaryngology meetings.

Setting

Online review of meeting programs.

Subjects and Methods

Meeting programs from the American Society of Pediatric Otolaryngology, Triological Society, American Academy of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery Foundation, and Society for Ear, Nose and Throat Advances in Children from 2003 to 2016 were manually searched for pediatric oral and poster presentations addressing disparities and socioeconomic determinants of health, as well as PSQI. Presentation frequency was compared between categories and within each category over time.

Results

Of 11,311 total presentations, 3078 were related to the pediatric population, and 1945 (63.2%) of those were oral presentations. Disparities-related presentations increased from 0 in 2003 to 17 in 2016. From 2003 to 2009, 9 of 656 (1.4%) presentations involved disparities, as opposed to 70 of 2422 (2.9%) from 2010 to 2016 (P = .03). The proportion of presentations regarding PSQI also increased: from 42 of 656 (6.4%) in 2003-2009 to 221 of 2422 (9.1%) in 2010-2016 (P = .01). PSQI presentations remain more common than disparities presentations (9.1% vs 2.9%, P < .001).

Conclusion

Health care disparities are increasingly addressed in pediatric otolaryngology meeting presentations. Compared with the well-established realm of PSQI, disparities research remains nascent but is gaining attention. Health care reform and quality improvement efforts should recognize the role of socioeconomic factors and include strategies for addressing disparities.

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