Surgery for Treating Otitis Media in Australian Indigenous Children

Project Details

Otitis Media is exceedingly prevalent in Australian Indigenous children, and causes a hearing loss that lasts throughout childhood and often into adult life.  The hearing loss hinders learning and educational opportunities, and may have life-long impacts. The long term outcomes of the results of various treatments has been debated but never documented.

This surgical sub-study is a multi-centred, randomized trial to compare the outcomes of two surgical interventions on chronic Otitis Media in Indigenous children living in remote communities of Australia. This project seeks to inform evidence-based guidelines for the best surgical intervention for Indigenous children with OME living in rural and remote communities.

The outcome measures will be a reduction in the prevalence of OME/AOM, hearing impairment, aural discharge/perforation, and also the effect of treatment on nasal colonisation with pathogenic bacteria. Reducing the high burden of otitis media and hearing loss will improve the long-term educational and social prospects of young Australians growing up in remote communities.

Photo courtesy of The Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital, photographer Leo FarrellStephen O'Leary & Child


Professor Stephen O'Leary, Principle Investigator

Katie Davis, Clinical Trial Coordinator



Research Opportunities

This research project is available to PhD students to join as part of their thesis.
Please contact the Research Group Leader to discuss your options.

Research Outcomes

Deriving accurate microbiota profiles from human samples with low bacterial content through post-sequencing processing of Illumina MiSeq data by Jake Jervis-Bardy, LexE.X. Leong, Shashikanth Marri, ReneeJ Smith, JocelynM Choo, HeidiC Smith-Vaughan, Elizabeth Nosworthy, et al. Microbiome 2015, 3:19

Research Group

Indigenous Ear Health

Faculty Research Themes

Infection and Immunology, Child Health

School Research Themes

Child Health in Medicine

Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact the research group leader.

Department / Centre


Unit / Centre

Indigenous Ear Health