Oral corticosteroids for painful acute otitis externa (swimmer's ear) – a triple blind randomised controlled trial

Balch, Graeme, Heal, Clare, Cervin, Anders, and Gunnarsson, Ronny (2019) Oral corticosteroids for painful acute otitis externa (swimmer's ear) – a triple blind randomised controlled trial. Australian Journal of General Practice, 48 (8). pp. 565-572.

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BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Acute otitis externa is often painful. This study aimed to evaluate the efficacy of 10mg oral prednisolone twice daily for four days in addition to conventional therapy.

METHODS: Patients attending GP clinics in far north Queensland Australia for acute painful otitis externa were given a study capsule with either 10 mg of prednisone or placebo.

RESULTS: A total of 73 patients were randomised. Results from 19 patients in the intervention and 11 patients in the control group were analysed. Oral corticosteroids did not decrease time to being completely pain free but decreased the time for pain to reduce from moderate-severe to less than moderate from 3.7 days to 2.4 days (p=0.012, log rank test).

DISCUSSION: Oral corticosteroids seem to be effective in reducing more than moderate pain to less than moderate pain. However, this result needs to be confirmed in a larger trial.

Item ID: 58950
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 0300-8495
Keywords: control groups; general practice; Otitis externa; pain; Prednisolone; Prednisone; research
Copyright Information: © The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners 2019
Funders: Cairns Hospital Foundation
Date Deposited: 24 Jul 2019 23:51
FoR Codes: 42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4203 Health services and systems > 420319 Primary health care @ 100%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920499 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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