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Healthcare disparities in pediatric otolaryngology: A systematic review. Laryngoscope 2018 Jul;128(7):1699-1713



Pubmed ID




Scopus ID

2-s2.0-85034261856   36 Citations


OBJECTIVES: Multiple studies have reported healthcare disparities in particular settings and conditions within pediatric otolaryngology, but a systematic examination of the breadth of the problem within the field is lacking. This study's objectives are to synthesize the available evidence regarding healthcare disparities in pediatric otolaryngology, highlight recurrent themes with respect to etiologies and manifestations, and demonstrate potential impacts from patient and provider standpoints.

METHODS: A qualitative systematic review of the PubMed, Ovid, and Cochrane databases for articles focusing on racial, ethnic, or socioeconomic disparities related to pediatric otolaryngology conditions or settings was conducted. United States-based studies of any design or publication date with analysis of children 0 to 18 years old were included.

RESULTS: Of 711 abstracts identified, 39 met inclusion criteria. Manual review of references from these articles yielded 22 additional studies, for a total of 61. Disparities were identified in nearly every subspecialty within pediatric otolaryngology, with otologic conditions the most frequently studied (33 of 61). The most commonly cited disparities involved low socioeconomic status (25 of 61), inadequate insurance (23 of 61), nonwhite race (21 of 61), and barriers to accessing care (21 of 61). Only six articles found no disparities regarding the condition examined in their study.

CONCLUSION: Through a variety of study topics, designs, and settings, a growing body of literature documents disparities across the spectrum of pediatric otolaryngology care. The etiologies and manifestations of such disparities are myriad. This evidence suggests the need for interventions to address these disparities at various professional and institutional levels, ideally with methodological rigor to assess the effectiveness of such interventions. Laryngoscope, 128:1699-1713, 2018.

Author List

Jabbour J, Robey T, Cunningham MJ


Thomas C. Robey MD Professor in the Otolaryngology department at Medical College of Wisconsin

MESH terms used to index this publication - Major topics in bold

Child, Preschool
Healthcare Disparities
Socioeconomic Factors
United States