Association of Quality of Life Measures and Otolaryngologic Care in Cystic Fibrosis Patients

Ann Otol Rhinol Laryngol. 2022 Aug;131(8):817-823. doi: 10.1177/00034894211045636. Epub 2021 Sep 11.


Objectives: Appropriate management of chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS) among patients with cystic fibrosis (CF) is important in improving quality of life. Otolaryngologists play a critical role in reducing CRS symptom burden. This study seeks to evaluate the role of patient-reported quality-of-life measures in guiding interventions for CF-related sinus disease.

Methods: We performed a prospective, cross-sectional study of 105 patients presenting to a CF-accredited clinic between July and September 2018. Demographic data and sinus surgery history were collected, in addition to Sino-Nasal Outcome Test (SNOT-22) and Questionnaire of Olfactory Disorders (QOD-NS) scores. Statistical analysis was conducted using correlation and non-parametric Mann-Whitney U tests.

Results: Baseline well-care visits accounted for 71.4% of all clinical evaluations. Prior otolaryngology intervention was noted in 69 (66%) patients, where the majority of these patients (63/69; 91%) underwent endoscopic sinus surgery (ESS). Patients with a history of otolaryngology intervention had an average SNOT-22 score of 33.2 (SD = 20.6) compared to 24.9 (SD = 18.5) for patients without prior intervention (P = .048). The average QOD-NS score was 5.5 (SD = 6.4) among patients referred to otolaryngologists and 3.1 (SD = 5.7) for non-referred patients (P = .012). SNOT-22 and QOD-NS scores were modestly correlated (R of .43).

Conclusion: CF patients with symptoms resulting in worse quality-of-life assessments were more likely to have established coordinated care with an otolaryngologist. Further validation of the utility of SNOT-22 and QOD-NS questionnaires as care coordination metrics is necessary in the CF population.

Keywords: chronic rhinosinusitis; cystic fibrosis; endoscopic sinus surgery; miscellaneous; otolaryngology; quality of life; rhinology; snot-22.

MeSH terms

  • Chronic Disease
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Cystic Fibrosis* / complications
  • Cystic Fibrosis* / therapy
  • Endoscopy / methods
  • Humans
  • Otolaryngology*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Quality of Life
  • Rhinitis* / diagnosis
  • Rhinitis* / surgery
  • Sinusitis* / diagnosis