Otitis Media – Prevention, Assessment, and Management


Otitis media is an infection of the middle ear. It has several presentations, the most common being acute otitis media, with or without perforation of the eardrum. Other forms include recurrent acute otitis media, chronic suppurative otitis media, and otitis media with effusion, which can be either episodic or persistent.

Otitis media is most common in early childhood but can also occur in adults. This module covers the assessment and management of the various forms of otitis media in the primary care setting. Given the prevalence of otitis media in Aboriginal people, there will be circumstances where individualised and tailored approaches to treatment and care are required to meet the patient’s needs. This module, where appropriate, identifies specific treatment and care recommendations for Aboriginal communities.

This module is especially relevant to nurses, child health nurses, Aboriginal health care practitioners and any allied health professional providing clinical care to children.

Learning Objectives

At the end of this module participants will be able to:

  • Differentiate between the main forms of otitis media.
  • Identify symptoms of an acute asthma exacerbation.
  • Identify the key features of an assessment for otitis media.
  • Explain the management principles of the main forms of otitis media.
  • Discuss strategies for the prevention of otitis media.
  • Understand why Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients may need a different treatment regime to non-Indigenous patients.

Other Modules to Explore