Background: Nasal polyposis (NP) is a frequent inflammatory chronic disease of the upper respiratory tract, which may impair quality of life (QOL). The NP impact, which is frequently associated with lower respiratory disorders, has never before been studied.
Objective: We initiated this prospective study to establish internal validity and reliability of the generic SF-36 questionnaire in NP and to determine to what level daily functioning becomes impaired as a result of NP.
Methods: Forty-nine consecutive patients with NP were included. They were assessed for the severity of nasal symptoms and underwent pulmonary function tests. The QOL profiles in patients with NP were compared with those of patients with perennial rhinitis (n = 111) and healthy subjects (n = 116).
Results: Cronbach's coefficient alpha demonstrated the high reliability and validity of the SF-36 questionnaire for patients with NP (alpha =.89). NP impaired QOL more than perennial allergic rhinitis (P <.05). The impairment of QOL was greater when NP was associated with asthma (P <.05). SF-36 scores appeared highly correlated to pulmonary function (FEV1, maximal midexpiratory flow, forced vital capacity), suggesting relationships between QOL in NP and associated bronchial obstruction. Severity of nasal symptoms were not related to QOL scales. In addition, sequential evaluations of QOL, nasal symptoms, and pulmonary function were performed 10 months after the first evaluation in 28 patients with NP. These evaluations demonstrated that NP treatment either with nasal steroids or endonasal ethmoidectomy significantly improved both nasal symptoms and QOL without significant change of pulmonary function.
Conclusion: Our study clearly demonstrated that the SF-36 questionnaire presented a high internal validity and reliability in patients with NP. NP impaired QOL to a greater degree than perennial allergic rhinitis. QOL improvement after NP treatment is related to nasal symptoms improvement.