Quality of life improvement after pressure equalization tube placement in Down syndrome: A prospective study

Alex Labby, Jess C. Mace, Michelle Buncke, Carol J. MacArthur

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Objective To evaluate quality-of-life changes after bilateral pressure equalization tube placement with or without adenoidectomy for the treatment of chronic otitis media with effusion or recurrent acute otitis media in a pediatric Down syndrome population compared to controls. Study design Prospective case-control observational study. Methods The OM Outcome Survey (OMO-22) was administered to both patients with Down syndrome and controls before bilateral tube placement with or without adenoidectomy and at an average of 6–7 months postoperatively. Thirty-one patients with Down syndrome and 34 controls were recruited. Both pre-operative and post-operative between-group and within-group score comparisons were conducted for the Physical, Hearing/Balance, Speech, Emotional, and Social domains of the OMO-22. Results Both groups experienced improvement of mean symptom scores post-operatively. Patients with Down syndrome reported significant post-operative improvement in mean Physical and Hearing domain item scores while control patients reported significant improvement in Physical, Hearing, and Emotional domain item scores. All four symptom scores in the Speech domain, both pre-operatively and post-operatively, were significantly worse for Down syndrome patients compared to controls (p ≤ 0.008). Conclusions Surgical placement of pressure equalizing tubes results in significant quality of life improvements in patients with Down syndrome and controls. Problems related to speech and balance are reported at a higher rate and persist despite intervention in the Down syndrome population. It is possible that longer follow up periods and/or more sensitive tools are required to measure speech improvements in the Down syndrome population after pressure equalizing tube placement ± adenoidectomy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)168-172
Number of pages5
JournalInternational Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology
StatePublished - Sep 1 2016


  • Down syndrome
  • Otitis media
  • Patient outcome assessment
  • Pressure equalization (PE) tubes
  • Quality of life

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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