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Cochrane Library, PubMed, EMBASE/Excerpta Medica, and proceedings of international symposia.
Study selection and assessment:
randomised controlled trials (RCTs) that compared antibiotics with placebo or no treatment in children 0–12 years of age with acute otitis media and assessed pain and fever. 6 RCTs (n = 1643, mean age 3.4 y [range 0–11], 50% boys) met the selection criteria, and the authors were willing to supply raw data. Quality assessment based on 4 criteria (randomisation procedure; allocation concealment; follow up; and blinding of patients, caregivers, and outcome assessors) showed …
For correspondence: Dr M M Rovers, Julius Centre for Health Sciences and Primary Care, University Medical Centre Utrecht, Utrecht, The Netherlands.
Sources of funding: Dutch College of General Practitioners and the Netherlands Organisation for Health Research and Development.
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