Purpose: In chronic otitis media (COM), disease chronicity and severity of middle ear inflammation may influence the development of inner ear deficits, increasing the risk of vestibular impairment. This secondary analysis of the multinational collaborative Chronic Otitis Media Questionnaire-12 (COMQ-12) dataset sought to determine the prevalence of vestibular symptoms in patients with COM and identify associated disease-related characteristics. Methods: Adult patients with a diagnosis of COM in outpatient settings at nine otology referral centers across eight countries were included. We investigated the presence of vestibular symptoms (dizziness and/or disequilibrium) using participant responses to item 6 of a native version of the COMQ-12. Audiometric data and otoscopic assessment were also recorded. Results: This analysis included 477 participants suffering from COM, with 56.2% (n = 268) reporting at least mild inconvenience related to dizziness or disequilibrium. There was a significant association between air conduction thresholds in the worse hearing ear and presence of dizziness [adjusted odds ratio (AOR), 1.01; 95% CI 1.00–1.02; p = 0.0177]. Study participants in European countries (AOR 1.53; 95% CI 1.03–2.28; p = 0.0344) and Colombia (AOR 2.48; 95% CI 1.25–4.92; p = 0.0096) were more likely to report dizziness than participants in Asian countries. However, ear discharge and cholesteatoma showed no association with dizziness in the adjusted analyses. Conclusion: Vestibular symptoms contribute to burden of disease in patients with COM and associates with hearing disability in the worse hearing ear. Geographical variation in presentation of dizziness may reflect financial barriers to treatment or cultural differences in how patients reflect on their health state.
- Otitis Media
- Patient-reported outcome measures
- Surveys and Questionnaires