Australian Family Physician
Australian Family Physician


Volume 38, Issue 4, April 2009

Acute otitis externa Management by GPs in North Queensland

Steven Rudolphy Tracy Cheffins Clare Heal Craig Veitch Rebecca Evans
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Acute otitis externa (AOE) is a common condition in North Queensland. Clinical guidelines exist for the management of this condition. This study explores the pattern of causative pathogens and management of AOE by general practitioners in North Queensland.
General practitioners have good knowledge of the causative pathogens for AOE in their region. While clinical guidelines are generally followed, there is some variation in the prescription of oral antibiotics and use of ear syringing in managing this condition.
Pseudomonas aeruginosa was the most common causative pathogen in all regions, GPs correctly identified the most common pathogens, there was variation in the use of oral antibiotics between regions (15.8–36.6%), ear syringing is commonly used in managing AOE (51.3%), and most patients (68.9%) required only one GP appointment.

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