Level of psychosocial adaptation in young school children with otitis media

A.A. Timmerman*, C. Meesters, L.J.C. Anteunis, M.N. Chenault

*Corresponding author for this work

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Objective: Assessment of the level of psychosocial adaptation in Dutch young school children with persistent and/or recurrent otitis media compared to a U.S. community sample. The goat of this study was to determine the presence of behavioural. effects related to a history of hearing loss resulting from recurrent or persistent otitis media. Methods: Caregivers of 160 children, age range 4-7 years, suffering from either upper respiratory tract infections (URTI) and/or otitis media with effusion (OME), completed the generic Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) and impact supplement before consulting the ENT physician. Results: In the ENT sample significant differences were found for the SDQ subscales hyperactivity-inattention and emotional symptoms, as well as for the total difficulties score and impact rating, compared to the U.S. community sample (p <.0005). Classification of severity (low, medium, high difficulties) for SDQ symptom scores, according to U.S. normative scoring bands, showed significantly more children in higher severity bands for SDQ total difficulties (p <.0005), emotional symptoms (p <.005), hyperactivity-inattention (p <.001) and prosocial behaviour (p <.005). This is expressed in a larger percentage of scores in the high difficulties (> 90% of scores) than in the medium difficulties (80-90% of scores) band for most ENT SDQ scores, except for SDQ prosocial behaviour (18.1%) and total difficulties (117.5%). Conclusion: The level of psychosocial adaptation seems to be compromised in the Dutch ENT sample for both internalising (emotional symptoms) and externalising (hyperactivity-inattention) behaviour dimensions, which indirectly supports the cumulative effects of a disease history with chronic otitis media, resulting in poorer attention skills and fewer social interactions present. The classification of SDQ symptom severity, indicates that any behavioural effect of otitis media and resulting hearing Loss is within the borderline score range, asking for vigilance regarding possible developmental and educational sequelae during childhood.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1843-1848
JournalInternational Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2007

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