Impact of rhinosinusitis in health care delivery: the Quebec experience

J Otolaryngol. 2001 Apr;30(2):93-7. doi: 10.2310/7070.2001.20813.


Objective: Rhinosinusitis is a common disease affecting 135 per 1,000 population. The cost and the impact on quality of life of this disease are considerable. Health care delivery for a particular disease is evaluated through the health impact of the disease, outcomes of treatments, and their costs. This article reviews our experience with rhinosinusitis and its impact on health, as measured using a generic quality of life instrument, the Medical Outcome Study 36-Item Short-Form Health Survey (SF-36), in a selected patient population. Outcomes of treatments will be introduced, and the economic impact of chronic rhinosinusitis based on a U.S. study will be discussed.

Material and methods: One hundred and ten patients (divided into three subgroups: recurrent acute rhinosinusitis, chronic rhinosinusitis, and nasal polyposis) completed the SF-36 survey on the day of the diagnostic visit in the outpatient sinus clinics of two hospitals.

Results: The scores of the SF-36, in chronic rhinosinusitis, are compared with the normative values of a healthy U.S. population showing statistically significant differences in seven of eight domains. A comparison of the scores of chronic rhinosinusitis with a U.S. study on chronic rhinosinusitis shows statistically significant differences in five of eight domains. A comparison of the scores in the three diagnostic subgroups shows a statistical significance in two domains: bodily pain and vitality are more affected in recurrent acute and chronic rhinosinusitis.

Conclusions: Chronic rhinosinusitis affects the quality of life of patients with rhinosinusitis and represents an important health burden. Some differences are noted with the U.S. chronic rhinosinusitis population. Recurrent acute and chronic rhinosinusitis seem to have more impact on vitality and bodily pain than nasal polyposis.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Adult
  • Chronic Disease
  • Delivery of Health Care* / economics
  • Female
  • Health Status
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Quality of Life
  • Quebec / epidemiology
  • Recurrence
  • Rhinitis / economics
  • Rhinitis / epidemiology*
  • Sinusitis / economics
  • Sinusitis / epidemiology*
  • United States / epidemiology