Publication Date



OTO Open


OBJECTIVE: To investigate the popular social media platforms Instagram and Facebook for public posts related to tympanostomy tubes in children, to discern attitudes and perceptions surrounding tympanostomy tubes, and to evaluate the content of social media posts related to tympanostomy tubes.

STUDY DESIGN: Qualitative study.

SETTING: Instagram and Facebook social media platforms.

METHODS: Instagram and Facebook were searched for public posts from 2018 and 2019 including the search terms "ear tubes,""ear tube surgery,""tympanostomy," and "myringotomy." Posts were excluded if they were unrelated to pediatric tympanostomy tubes or written in a non-English language. Relevant posts underwent subgroup analysis based on 6 domains: media type, perspective, topic, timeframe, popularity, and overall tone.

RESULTS: Of 1862 public social media posts, the majority (78.2%) were made by the patient's parents/caregivers and the rest by physicians (6.0%), hospitals (8.2%), and chiropractors (6.1%), with a few posts by the patients themselves (0.4%). The majority (79.3%) of posts portrayed tympanostomy tubes positively. Most negative posts were made by chiropractors (50.8%) and the patient's parents/caregivers (42.9%). The most common themes of posts were reassurance regarding surgery (74.9%), advertisements (12.5%), apprehension (12.4%), and education (10.3%).

CONCLUSION: Most social media posts were made by parents/caregivers in the perioperative period, and there was a low percentage of educational posts. This information could be used by otolaryngologists to optimize their interactions with patients and parents and to potentially increase physician involvement and educational material related to tympanostomy tubes on social media.


social media, middle ear ventilation, communications media, perception, otitis media, child


PMID: 35387357



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.