Do indigenous kids with chronic runny ears need oral antibiotics and drops to fix their ears? (NHMRC Project App 1060764, CIA Morris, Leach, Nelson, Currie and Lennox).
IHEAR BETA Study: Indigenous Healthy EARs - BEtadine, Tissues and Antibiotics. A factorial design, randomised controlled clinical trial.
Among Indigenous children with chronic suppurative otitis media (CSOM), to determine whether additional oral antibiotics and povidone-iodine reduces discharging perforations after a four-month therapy.
In a factorial design, children under 17 years of age will be randomised to cotrimoxazole or placebo, and to twice daily syringing with povidone-iodine 0.5% or no syringing, prior to standard topical antibiotic treatment. We will observe the proportion of children with resolved ear discharge, the prevalence and antibiotic susceptibility of bacteria in NP and ear discharge swabs in the groups.
Despite the devastating effect of CSOM in individual lives, there has been no Australia-wide approach to research in this area. Indigenous leadership is needed to sustain research effort, drive policy change and inform practice. The molecular studies are critical in revealing natural history of persistent infection and treatment failure, and directing future research.