Development of an electronic conversation aid to support shared decision making for children with acute otitis media

Jana L. Anderson, Lucas Oliveira J.E. Silva, Juan P. Brito, Ian G. Hargraves, Erik P. Hess

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: The overuse of antibiotics for acute otitis media (AOM) in children is a healthcare quality issue in part arising from conflicting parent and physician understanding of the risks and benefits of antibiotics for AOM. Our objective was to develop a conversation aid that supports shared decision making (SDM) with parents of children who are diagnosed with non-severe AOM in the acute care setting. Materials and Methods: We developed a web-based encounter tool following a human-centered design approach that includes active collaboration with parents, clinicians, and designers using literature review, observations of clinical encounters, parental and clinician surveys, and interviews. Insights from these processes informed the iterative creation of prototypes that were reviewed and field-Tested in patient encounters. Results: The ear pain conversation aid includes five sections: (1) A home page that opens the discussion on the etiologies of AOM; (2) the various options available for AOM management; (3) a pictograph of the impact of antibiotic therapy on pain control; (4) a pictograph of complication rates with and without antibiotics; and (5) a summary page on management choices. This open-Access, web-based tool is located at Conclusions: We collaboratively developed an evidence-based conversation aid to facilitate SDM for AOM. This decision aid has the potential to improve parental medical knowledge of AOM, physician/parent communication, and possibly decrease the overuse of antibiotics for this condition.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberooab024
JournalJAMIA Open
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2021


  • acute pain
  • child
  • clinical decision making
  • decision making
  • otitis media
  • shared

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Informatics


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