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Osteopathic evaluation and manipulative treatment in reducing the morbidity of otitis media: a pilot study


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Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment

J Am Osteopath Assoc. 2006 Jun;106(6):327-34.


Brian F Degenhardt, Michael L Kuchera


Objective: To study the effects of osteopathic manipulative treatment in routine pediatric care for children with recurrent acute otitis media.

Study design: Pilot cohort study with 1-year posttreatment follow-up. At follow-up, subjects' parents or legal guardians and their referring and/or family physicians were contacted to determine recurrence of otitis media since intervention.

Subjects: A referred and volunteer sample of pediatric patients ranging in age from 7 months to 35 months with a history of recurrent otitis media (N=8).

Intervention: For 3 weeks, all subjects received weekly osteopathic structural examinations and osteopathic manipulative treatment. This intervention was performed concurrently with traditional medical management.

Results: Five (62.5%) subjects had no recurrence of symptoms. Of the three remaining subjects in this cohort, one had a bulging tympanic membrane, another had four episodes of otitis media, and the last underwent surgery after recurrence at 6 weeks posttreatment. Closer analysis of the posttreatment course of the last two subjects indicates that there may have been a clinically significant decrease in morbidity for a period of time after intervention.

Conclusion: The present study indicates that osteopathic manipulative treatment may change the progression of recurrent otitis media, a finding that supports the need for additional research in this area.

Publication Date: 

2006 Jun



Degenhardt, FB., Kuchera, LM. (2006) 'Osteopathic evaluation and manipulative treatment in reducing the morbidity of otitis media: a pilot study ', J Am Osteopath Assoc. 2006 Jun;106(6):327-34.

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