25 SES 03, Children’s Perspectives on Issues of Concern
This research from which this paper is drawn investigates the educational and day-to-day impact of the common condition, Otitis Media/Glue Ear, on children who have the chronic form with accompanying intermittent hearing loss and ear ache/infections. Otitis Media (OM) is an umbrella term for a number of related symptoms which impacts mainly children throughout the world (Gunasekera 2009). Most information about it comes from the medical field where it is described as a build-up of fluid in the middle ear, where there should be air helping to conduct sound waves to the auditory nerve (Rovers 2004). Research has been conducted internationally on the longer-term impacts of Otitis Media on speech and language development (Feagans 1986; Roberts 2003; Winskel 2006) and cognitive development (Roberts et al 1989; Feldman and Paradise 2009; Roberts 2004; Bennett et al 2001), there is little agreement about the long term outcomes. Most research has been quantitative and, where outcomes about the impact have been asked, parental proxies have been used (Timmerman et al 2008; Stenton 2003; Higson and Haggard 2003). Recent research has questioned the accuracy of reflecting young people’s views using parental proxies (Lagattuta 2012), and it seems to counter the ethos of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child 1989, in education and health research (Alderson 2000; Coad 2008; Neill 2005; Christensen 2000), which suggests that young people have a right to speak for themselves. Although OM affects up to 80% of children under the age of 10 years and is a condition common across the world (Bluestone 2002), there has been little research undertaken in the school context.
To answer the main research question “What is the lived experience of young people with long-term Otitis Media, and the effects on their families” the study applied a qualitative approach using the methodological frameworks of Photovoice (Wang 1998; Baker 2006) and Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) (Smith 2009; Gee 2011). The rationale for choosing phenomenology came from the concept developed by Husserl (Kocklemans 1967) who suggests that the combination of the findings from qualitative research are complemented by the contribution of the human experience as gathered through qualitative research. The methodology used is aimed at empowering young people and their parents to express their views and to lead the discussion into what is important for them (Freire 2006).
Bennett, K.E. Haggard, M.P. Silva, P.A. Stewart, I.A. (2001) Behaviour and developmental effects of otitis media with effusion into the teens Archives of Disease in Childhood, 85: 91-107 Feagens, L. (1986) ‘Otitis Media: A Model for Long-Term Effects with Implications for Intervention’ in Kavanagh, J. F. (ed) Otitis Media and Child Development York Press, Parkton, Maryland, pp.192-209 Feldman, H.M. and Paradise, J.L. (2009) OME and child development: rethinking management... otitis media with effusion, Contemporary Pediatrics, 26(5): 40-47 Freire, P. (2006) Pedagogy of the Oppressed, Continuum, London Gunasekera, H. Morris, P.S., McIntyre, P. Craig, J.C. (2009) Management of children with otitis media: A summary of evidence from recent systematic reviews, Journal of Paediatrics & Child Health 45(10): 554-563 Lagattuta, K.H. Sayfan, L. Bamford, C. (2012) Do you know how I feel? Parents underestimate worry and overestimate optimism compared to child self-report Journal of Experimental Child Psychology 113(2): 211-232 Roberts, H. (2004) ‘Health and Social Care’ in Fraser, S. Lewis, V. Ding, S. Kellett, M. Robinson, C.(eds) Doing Research with children and young people Sage, Thousand Oaks, California, pp.239-254 Roberts, J. Hunter, L. Gravel, J. Rosenfeld, R. Berman, S. Haggard, M. Hall, J. Lannon, C. Moore, D. Vernon-Feagans, L. Wallace, I. (2004) Otitis media, hearing loss, and language learning: controversies and current research Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics 25(2): 110-122 Rovers, M.M. Schilder, A.G.M. Zielhuis, G.A. Rosenfeld, R.M. (2004) Otitis Media, The Lancet 363 (9407): 465-473 Smith, J.A. Flowers, P. Larkin, M. (2009) Interpretative Phenomenological Research Theory, Method and Research Sage, London Timmerman, A.A. Meesters, C.M.G. Anteunis, L.J.C. Chenault, M.N. Haggard, M.P.(20098) Psychometric evaluation of the OM8-30 questionnaire in Dutch children with otitis media European Archives of Otorhinolaryngology 265(9): 1047-1056 Wang, C. Burris, M.A. (1997) Photovoice: Concept, Methodology, and Use for Participatory Needs Assessment Health, Education and Behavior 24(3): 369-378
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