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Randomised controlled trials were identified by searching Medline (1966 to July 1997) using the terms otitis media (modified by the term acute), randomized controlled trials, random allocation, double-blind method, and single-blind method; Embase/Excerpta Medica (1974 to July 1997) using a similar search strategy; Current Contents (January to July 1997); and Science Citation Index. Bibliographies of relevant studies were also reviewed.
Inclusion criteria were sample age 4 weeks to 18 years, clinical diagnosis of AOM and no antimicrobial treatment at the time of diagnosis, random allocation to antibiotic treatment for <7 days or ≥7 days, and assessment of clinical resolution of AOM. Trials were excluded if a surgical cointervention was planned (except for myringotomy after treatment failure …
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