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Patients With Acute Sinus Infection's Disease Specific Quality Of Life Can Effectively Evaluated By New Test PDF Print E-mail
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Monday, 22 August 2011 01:12
20110822rfid04According to a report in the August issue of Archives of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery, one of the JAMA/Archives journals, the Sinonasal Outcome Test-16 (SNOT-16) appears to be effective in assessing how well treatments improve the disease specific quality of life (QOL) of adult patients with acute rhinosinusitis (inflammation of the sinuses).

Background information in the article states that acute rhinosinusitis often causes sickness and anxiety in patients, which results in missing work or school and facing treatment costs.

Therapy for treating acute rhinosinusitis concentrates on improving patients' well being and ability to function. The authors say that:

"Because there are no clinical objective measures of disease resolution for use in clinical trials, tools to assess outcomes that are meaningful for patients are needed."

They point out, that appropriate QOL questionnaires have been evaluated for use in chronic rhinosinusitis (lasting longer than four weeks), but not in acute cases (lasting for shorter periods of time).

Jane Garbutt, M.B., Ch.B., and her colleagues from Washington University, St. Louis, decided to assess the modified SNOT-16's reliability, validity and response rate (able to detect small but important changes over time) in adult patients with acute rhinosinusitis treated in a primary care setting.

Researchers conducted a randomized, controlled trial of antibiotic treatment of the condition using participants between the ages of 18 and 70 years, who had a diagnosis of acute rhinosinusitis from a primary care physician and initially reported their symptoms as moderate to very severe.

The modified SNOT-16 study, which collects information on 16 sinus-related symptoms, was completed in person and by telephone on the first day of the study, and by telephone on days three, seven and 10. The questionnaire checked the severity and frequency of symptoms together with how much they bothered patients.

The randomized treatment study included a total of 166 patients, of which 78 percent were white and 36 percent were male. The modified SNOT-16 identified statistically important differences regarding the symptom severity and how bothered patients felt, demonstrating the method's validity. The evaluation of results showed the questionnaire's internal consistency and sensitivity to clinical changes in patients' conditions.

Researchers found the tool to be quick and easy to use, and discovered, that scores were lower when the questionnaire was conducted by telephone than if it was conducted on the same day following completion during a face-to-face interview.

The authors write in a concluding statement:

"We found the modified SNOT-16 to be valid, responsive, and easy to use, and we recommend its use to assess change in disease-related QOL in interventions targeting patients with acute rhinosinusitis. It is important to note that if the planned mode of administration is by telephone interview, then the baseline assessment must also be by telephone interview."

Written by Petra Rattue

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