The Society for Middle Ear Disease is an international nonprofit community advocacy society that aims to promote public and professional awareness of the importance of middle ear disease (otitis media) as a major health problem. The group, which was formed with the assistance of the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh Foundation, is composed of a board of advisors, a board of advocates and an educational website. The society’s mission is to enable individuals with middle-ear disease, as well as parents and other family members of children who have otitis media, to meet the challenges of the disease through information, advocacy and support.
Its board of advisors comprises otolaryngologists, family practitioners, pediatricians and researchers. Members of the society’s board of advocates are individuals who are either personally affected by or have children with middle-ear disease.
Shared Decision Making
The primary aim of the society is to encourage a shared decision-making approach to the treatment of otitis media, and its website provides resources to educate all members of the patient care team. “We offer ‘three-P’ decision aids—aids for patients, parents and physicians—to enhance shared decision making,” said Charles Bluestone, MD, professor of otolaryngology with the department of pediatric otolaryngology at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh and the society’s founder. “We aim to empower families and their parents and, hopefully, the professionals by offering evidence-based medicine for state-of-the-art diagnosis and management of otitis media.”
The society’s website offers guidelines from several countries, videos, books and a section where patients can learn about the disease. Patients can also e-mail the society directly with questions.
Currently, the U.S. chapter of the organization holds a monthly virtual meeting, and the society aims to establish additional chapters. Visit www.societyformiddleeardisease.org to access patient and physician education materials and to find information on how to get involved.