Different rhinologic diseases cause a similar multidimensional decrease in generic health-related quality of life

Clin Otolaryngol. 2018 Dec;43(6):1487-1493. doi: 10.1111/coa.13190. Epub 2018 Sep 2.


Background: Previous studies illustrated that chronic rhinosinusitis and allergic rhinitis represent individual and socioeconomic burdens to a patient. However, few studies exist on the health-related quality of life (HRQoL) amongst other rhinologic patients. Our study investigated the generic HRQoL in different rhinologic diseases.

Methodology: Unselected adult rhinologic patients requiring special care at the Helsinki University Hospital were enrolled in this cross-sectional, questionnaire-based prospective study in February, May, August and November 2014. Patients were mailed a medical history questionnaire and a generic 15-dimension (15D) HRQoL questionnaire. Diagnostic data were collected from electronic patient records following outpatient visits. Patient HRQoL scores were compared to an age- and sex-standardised general population sample obtained from a large national health examination survey.

Results: This study consisted of 337 rhinologic patients (mean age 50.2 years, 50.4% men). The mean 15D score amongst rhinologic patients (0.865) was both statistically significant and clinically poorer than that amongst the general population (0.929). Rhinologic patients fared poorly on most dimensions of the 15D instrument, particularly on sleep, discomfort and symptoms, breathing and vitality. Patients with obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) were particularly affected. Yet, comparing the five most common rhinologic diagnostic groups revealed no significant differences in the mean 15D scores.

Conclusions: Rhinologic diseases, independent of the underlying cause, substantially and negatively affect patients' HRQoL. OSA decreases HRQoL in these patients, although patients without an OSA diagnosis still suffer from a clinically important impairment of HRQoL and poor quality sleep.

Keywords: quality of life; research.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Chronic Disease
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Health Status*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prognosis
  • Prospective Studies
  • Quality of Life*
  • Rhinitis / physiopathology
  • Rhinitis / psychology*
  • Sinusitis / physiopathology
  • Sinusitis / psychology*
  • Sleep / physiology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires*