Background and aim: Perennial allergic rhinitis may impair social life. General scales of quality of life (QOL) are used to detect the importance of social life impairment, but the reliability and validity of QOL measures should be tested in patients with perennial allergic rhinitis. The extent to which QOL scores differ in patients with rhinitis and healthy subjects is unknown.
Methods: A cross-sectional study was carried out in 111 patients with moderate to severe perennial allergic rhinitis and 116 healthy subjects to assess the validity of a general QOL scale, the SF-36 Health Status Questionnaire. This scale is based on 36 items selected to represent nine health concepts (dimensions). The internal reliability of each dimension of the questionnaire was examined. The differences in QOL scores between patients with rhinitis and healthy subjects were studied.
Results: Most QOL scores were highly reliable. There was a significant impairment in eight of nine QOL dimensions in patients with perennial allergic rhinitis in comparison with healthy subjects.
Conclusions: The SF-36 Health Status Questionnaire allows discrimination between patients with perennial allergic rhinitis and healthy subjects.