Introduction: Recent reports have highlighted the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the incidence of infectious disease illnesses and antibiotic use. This study investigates the effect of the pandemic on childhood incidence of otitis media (OM) and associated antibiotic prescribing in a large primary care-based cohort in the Netherlands. Material and Methods: Retrospective observational cohort study using routine health care data from the Julius General Practitioners’ Network (JGPN). All children aged 0-12 registered in 62 practices before the COVID-19 pandemic (1 March 2019 - 29 February 2020) and/or during the pandemic (1 March 2020 - 28 February 2021) were included. Data on acute otitis media (AOM), otitis media with effusion (OME), ear discharge episodes and associated antibiotic prescriptions were extracted. Incidence rates per 1,000 child years (IR), incidence rate ratios (IRR) and incidence rate differences (IRD) were compared between the two study periods. Results: OM episodes declined considerably during the COVID-19 pandemic: IR pre-COVID-19 vs COVID-19 for AOM 73.7 vs 27.1 [IRR 0.37]; for OME 9.6 vs 4.1 [IRR 0.43]; and for ear discharge 12.6 vs 5.8 [IRR 0.46]. The absolute number of AOM episodes in which oral antibiotics were prescribed declined accordingly (IRD pre-COVID-19 vs COVID-19: -22.4 per 1,000 child years), but the proportion of AOM episodes with antibiotic prescription was similar in both periods (47% vs 46%, respectively). Discussion: GP consultation for AOM, OME and ear discharge declined by 63%, 57% and 54% respectively in the Netherlands during the COVID-19 pandemic. Similar antibiotic prescription rates before and during the pandemic indicate that the case-mix presenting to primary care did not considerably change. Our data therefore suggest a true decline as a consequence of infection control measures introduced during the pandemic.

A Strong Decline in the Incidence of Childhood Otitis Media During the COVID-19 Pandemic in the Netherlands / S. Hullegie, A.G.M. Schilder, P. Marchisio, J.L.H. de Sevaux, A.W. van der Velden, A.C. van de Pol, J.A. Boeijen, T.N. Platteel, S. Torretta, R.A.M.J. Damoiseaux, R.P. Venekamp. - In: FRONTIERS IN CELLULAR AND INFECTION MICROBIOLOGY. - ISSN 2235-2988. - 11(2021), pp. 768377.1-768377.8. [10.3389/fcimb.2021.768377]

A Strong Decline in the Incidence of Childhood Otitis Media During the COVID-19 Pandemic in the Netherlands

P. Marchisio;S. Torretta;
2021

Abstract

Introduction: Recent reports have highlighted the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the incidence of infectious disease illnesses and antibiotic use. This study investigates the effect of the pandemic on childhood incidence of otitis media (OM) and associated antibiotic prescribing in a large primary care-based cohort in the Netherlands. Material and Methods: Retrospective observational cohort study using routine health care data from the Julius General Practitioners’ Network (JGPN). All children aged 0-12 registered in 62 practices before the COVID-19 pandemic (1 March 2019 - 29 February 2020) and/or during the pandemic (1 March 2020 - 28 February 2021) were included. Data on acute otitis media (AOM), otitis media with effusion (OME), ear discharge episodes and associated antibiotic prescriptions were extracted. Incidence rates per 1,000 child years (IR), incidence rate ratios (IRR) and incidence rate differences (IRD) were compared between the two study periods. Results: OM episodes declined considerably during the COVID-19 pandemic: IR pre-COVID-19 vs COVID-19 for AOM 73.7 vs 27.1 [IRR 0.37]; for OME 9.6 vs 4.1 [IRR 0.43]; and for ear discharge 12.6 vs 5.8 [IRR 0.46]. The absolute number of AOM episodes in which oral antibiotics were prescribed declined accordingly (IRD pre-COVID-19 vs COVID-19: -22.4 per 1,000 child years), but the proportion of AOM episodes with antibiotic prescription was similar in both periods (47% vs 46%, respectively). Discussion: GP consultation for AOM, OME and ear discharge declined by 63%, 57% and 54% respectively in the Netherlands during the COVID-19 pandemic. Similar antibiotic prescription rates before and during the pandemic indicate that the case-mix presenting to primary care did not considerably change. Our data therefore suggest a true decline as a consequence of infection control measures introduced during the pandemic.
antibiotic; children; COVID-19 pandemic; incidence; otitis media; Anti-Bacterial Agents; Child; Humans; Incidence; Infant; Netherlands; Pandemics; Retrospective Studies; SARS-CoV-2; COVID-19; Otitis Media
Settore MED/38 - Pediatria Generale e Specialistica
Settore MED/31 - Otorinolaringoiatria
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/2434/893823
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