Video Discharge Instructions for Acute Otitis Media in Children: A Randomized Controlled Open‐label Trial

From SAEM:


Thirty percent of children with acute otitis media (AOM) experience symptoms < 7 days after initiating treatment, highlighting the importance of comprehensive discharge instructions.


We randomized caregivers of children 6 months to 17 years presenting to the emergency department (ED) with AOM to discharge instructions using a video on management of pain and fever to a paper handout. The primary outcome was the AOM Severity of Symptom (AOM‐SOS) score at 72 hours postdischarge. Secondary outcomes included caregiver knowledge (10‐item survey), absenteeism, recidivism, and satisfaction (5‐item Likert scale).


A total of 219 caregivers were randomized and 149 completed the 72‐hour follow‐up (72 paper and 77 video). The median (IQR) AOM‐SOS score for the video was significantly lower than paper, even after adjusting for preintervention AOM‐SOS score and medication at home (8 [7–11] vs. 10 [7–13], respectively; p = 0.004). There were no significant differences between video and paper in mean (±SD) knowledge score (9.2 [±1.3] vs. 8.8 [±1.8], respectively; p = 0.07), mean (±SD) number of children that returned to a health care provider (8/77 vs. 10/72, respectively; p = 0.49), mean (±SD) number of daycare/school days missed by child (1.2 [±1.5] vs. 1.1 [±2.1], respectively; p = 0.62), mean (±SD) number of workdays missed by caregiver (0.5 [±1] vs. 0.8 [±2], respectively; p = 0.05), or median (IQR) satisfaction score (5 [4–5] vs. 5 [4–5], respectively; p = 0.3).


Video discharge instructions in the ED are associated with less perceived AOM symptomatology compared to a paper handout.

How can pain management in the emergency department be improved?

From the BMJ:

Introduction Inadequate pain management in EDs is a worldwide problem, yet there has been little progress in understanding how pain management can be improved. There is only weak evidence and limited rationale to support interventions to improve pain management. We used naturalistic, qualitative methods to understand the factors that influence how pain is managed within the adult ED.

Methods We used a multiple case study design incorporating 143-hour non-participant observation, documentary analysis and semistructured interviews with 37 staff and 19 patients at three EDs in the North of England between 2014 and 2016. We analysed data using thematic analysis.

Results Our analysis demonstrated that pain management was not well aligned with the core priorities of the ED and was overlooked when other works took priority. We identified that (1) pain management was not perceived to be a key organisational priority for which staff were held accountable and staff had limited awareness of their performance, (2) pain management was not a core component of ED education and training, (3) ED processes and structures were not aligned with pain management and pain reassessment was overlooked unless staff escalated pain management outside of normal processes and (4) staff held embedded beliefs that conceptualised pain management as distinct from core priorities and limited their capacity to improve. However, EDs were able to improve pain management by aligning processes of pain management with other core works, particularly patient flow (eg, nurse-initiated analgesia at triage).

Implications EDs may be able to improve pain management by ensuring pain management processes align with key ED priorities. Undertaking multifaceted changes to structures and processes may enable staff to improve pain management and develop a culture in which pain management can be prioritised more easily. Future interventions need to be compatible with the wider work of the ED and enable patient flow in order to be adopted and maintained.