Will Parents Participate in and Comply With Programs and Regimens Using Xylitol for Preventing Acute Otitis Media in Their Children? Purpose Antiadhesive properties in xylitol, a natural sugar alcohol, can help prevent acute otitis media (AOM) in children by inhibiting harmful bacteria from colonizing and adhering to oral and nasopharyngeal areas and traveling to the Eustachian tube and middle ear. This study investigated parents' willingness to use and comply with ... Research Article
Research Article  |   April 01, 2015
Will Parents Participate in and Comply With Programs and Regimens Using Xylitol for Preventing Acute Otitis Media in Their Children?
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Jeffrey L. Danhauer
    University of California, Santa Barbara
  • Carole E. Johnson
    University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Oklahoma City
  • Jason A. Baker
    University of California, Santa Barbara
  • Jung A. Ryu
    University of California, Santa Barbara
  • Rachel A. Smith
    University of California, Santa Barbara
  • Claire J. Umeda
    University of California, Santa Barbara
  • Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.
    Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.×
  • Correspondence to Jeffrey L. Danhauer: danhauer@speech.ucsb.edu
  • Editor: Marilyn Nippold
    Editor: Marilyn Nippold×
  • Associate Editor: Sheila Pratt
    Associate Editor: Sheila Pratt×
Article Information
Hearing Disorders / Research Articles
Research Article   |   April 01, 2015
Will Parents Participate in and Comply With Programs and Regimens Using Xylitol for Preventing Acute Otitis Media in Their Children?
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, April 2015, Vol. 46, 127-140. doi:10.1044/2015_LSHSS-14-0048
History: Received April 23, 2014 , Revised July 22, 2014 , Accepted December 8, 2014
 
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, April 2015, Vol. 46, 127-140. doi:10.1044/2015_LSHSS-14-0048
History: Received April 23, 2014; Revised July 22, 2014; Accepted December 8, 2014
Web of Science® Times Cited: 1

Purpose Antiadhesive properties in xylitol, a natural sugar alcohol, can help prevent acute otitis media (AOM) in children by inhibiting harmful bacteria from colonizing and adhering to oral and nasopharyngeal areas and traveling to the Eustachian tube and middle ear. This study investigated parents' willingness to use and comply with a regimen of xylitol for preventing AOM in their preschool- and kindergarten-aged children.

Method An Internet questionnaire was designed and administered to parents of young children in preschool and kindergarten settings.

Results Most parents were unaware of xylitol's use for AOM and would not likely comply with regimens for preventing AOM in their children; however, parents having previous knowledge of xylitol and whose children had a history of AOM would be more likely to do so.

Conclusions Generally, most of these parents did not know about xylitol and probably would not use it to prevent ear infections. Unfortunately, these results parallel earlier findings for teachers and schools, which present obstacles for establishing ear infection prevention programs using similar protocols for young children. The results showed that considerable education and age-appropriate vehicles for administering xylitol are needed before establishing AOM prevention programs in schools and/or at home.

Acknowledgments
This research was supported in part by two John C. Snidecor Fund Awards from the University of California, Santa Barbara, Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences, awarded to Jason A. Baker and Rachel A. Smith. Portions of this research were presented at AudiologyNOW!, Anaheim, California, April 2013. We wish to thank Alonzo Jones for assisting with the development of the questionnaire and for comments about the results. We thank Daniella P. Galindo, Kayla T. Ichiba, Anna Marie Jilla, Nicole Kashani, James C. Sullivan, and Raquel Valencia for their assistance in preparing this article. We also thank Irene Buzzard, Leilani Price, Keyo Russell, Aana Strickler, and all the parents from the preschool and kindergarten schools and the private practice who assisted with the data collection for this study. Finally, we express our appreciation and dedicate this study to the late Samantha Willows Baker-Olson, who also helped us with the pilot data for the parent questionnaire.
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