- Summary Objectives to analyze adherence to therapeutic guidelines for AOM. Methods Descriptive retrospective study of community primary care providers in southern Israel. Study population (n = 590) included all children aged 0–48 months diagnosed with AOM in PED during the year 2000 who had a referral letter from a community physician and an AOM diagnosis confirmed by tympanocentesis. AOM antibiotic treatment was considered appropriate when in accord with CDC and local therapeutic guidelines. Results Referral letter data allowing characterization of AOM by category were available in 471 (79.8%) children, 320 (68%) with simple AOM and 151(32%) with complicated AOM. AOM diagnosis made by the primary care physician was in accord with PED diagnosis in 365/590 (62%) patients. Three hundred and fifty-five (60.2%) patients did not receive antibiotics in the community. Of 365 (62%) children diagnosed with AOM in the community, 235 (64.4%) were treated with antibiotics prior to arrival to PED. Amoxicillin was prescribed to 109 (46.4%), cefuroxime axetil to 48 (20.4%), amoxicillin/clavulanate to 31 (13.2%) and i.m. ceftriaxone to 20 (8.5%) of the patients. Eighty-three (25.9%) patients with simple AOM were treated with antibiotics in the community and only 46 (55.4%) received amoxicillin according to the therapeutic guidelines. Eighty-one (53.6%) patients with complicated AOM were treated with antibiotics in the community and only 41 (50.6%) of them received antibiotics according to AOM therapeutic guidelines. More antibiotics were prescribed in the community to patients with complicated AOM than to patients with simple AOM (81/151, 53.6% versus 83/320, 25.9%, respectively, p < 0.001). Adherence to therapeutic guidelines was similar between the simple and the complicated AOM groups (46/83, 55.4% versus 41/81, 50.6%, respectively, p = 0.5). Conclusion We found partial adherence to AOM therapeutic guidelines among primary care providers in the community in Southern Israel.