Background: Empty nose syndrome (ENS) is a debilitating disorder characterised by paradoxical nasal obstruction after excessive surgical excision of nasal tissues. ENS negatively impacts the quality of life (QOL) and psychological status of patients. This study aimed to determine the associations among disease-specific QOL impairments and the severity of anxiety and depression before and after surgery in ENS patients.
Methods: A total of 68 ENS patients were prospectively recruited and underwent submucosal Medpor implantation. QOL impairments and the severity of anxiety and depression were evaluated using the Sinonasal Outcome Test-25 (SNOT-25), Beck Depression Inventory-II (BDI-II), and Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI) 1 day before and 6 months after surgery.
Results: The BDI-II and BAI scores were significantly associated with the total score and ear/facial symptoms, psychological dysfunction, sleep dysfunction, and empty nose symptoms domains of the SNOT-25. Surgery improved disease-specific and psychological symptoms. Post-operative changes in the BDI-II score were correlated with changes in the total score and sleep dysfunction and empty nose symptoms domains of the SNOT-25. A SNOT-25 total score of greater than 60, sleep dysfunction domain score of greater than 18, and empty nose symptoms domain score of greater than 14 were good predictors of moderate-to-severe depression.
Conclusions: ENS symptoms are associated with psychological burden and could be good predictors of moderate-to-severe depression. Targeted symptom improvement could reduce the psychological burden.