POST: Paediatric Otorrhoea Study

Paediatric Otorrhoea: Understanding the burden of disease and acceptability of non-surgical management options

  • Hospital – Speciality: Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital – Paediatric Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT)
  • Study type: Qualitative – Medical professional focus groups and patient interviews
  • Funder: NIHR Research for Patient Benefit Grant


Paediatric otorrhoea (PO) is discharge from a child’s ear, that usually results from an infection of the middle ear. The accumulation of pus in the middle ear space causes the ear drum to stretch until it ruptures, with the resultant leakage of foul-smelling discharge from the ear. Discharge from the ear for greater than 2 weeks is defined as ‘chronic’ by the World Health Organization. It is known that this condition causes hearing loss which leads to developmental delay, restricted communication, poor psychosocial development, and reduced educational attainment.

Despite ear infections and otorrhoea being common in children, clinicians do not know how it affects their lives. Importantly, they also do not know how best to treat it. The researchers want to understand how PO is managed and how it affects children and young people. This will help in the future to design a study to work out which treatment is most successful. The research team will perform patient interviews and focus groups with medical professionals to achieve these objectives.

Participant group 

Work Package 1 – Children and young people aged 16 years and under, who have or have had otorrhoea in the past year, in the UK.

Work Package 2 – Medical professionals who interact with children and young people with otorrhoea in daily practice.

Participant approach

The study will be advertised directly to participants in healthcare settings, online and on social media. If participants are interested, they can contact the qualitative researcher and a Participant Information Sheet (PIS) and cover letter will be sent to them.

Study open date and expected length

Opened: 12 July 2023

Expected end date: 30 April 2024


Pending – this study is currently active.

Contact details

Telephone number: 0161 276 5606

Email address:

  • IRAS number: 320652