Olfactory dysfunction and daily life

  • Johannes Frasnelli
  • Thomas Hummel


The objective of the present study was to investigate the hypothesis that subjects with parosmia suffer more in their daily life than patients who experience only quantitative olfactory loss. Two hundred five outpatients of the Smell and Taste Clinic and 25 healthy controls were included. The newly developed Questionnaire of Olfactory Disorders (QOD) was administered in combination with other psychometric tests (Beck Depression Inventory, “Befindlichkeitsskala” and the Short Form-36 Health Survey) along with an olfactory test (“Sniffin’ Sticks”). Results of the QOD were found to be an appropriate and valid measure of the impact of olfactory dysfunction on daily life. Patients with parosmia and quantitative olfactory dysfunction show higher rates of daily life complaints when compared to patients suffering from quantitative olfactory impairment only (QOD-PS: P=0.005). In addition, hyposmic and anosmic patients indicated significantly more complaints compared to patients with normosmia. Further, female patients seemed to suffer more from olfactory dysfunction than male patients. In conclusion, the assessment of the degree of qualitative olfactory dysfunction may be possible by the use of instruments based on questionnaires regarding daily life problems.


Quality of life Anosmia Hyposmia Parosmia Questionnaire 



We are indebted to Elisabeth Pauli, Ph.D., Department of Neurology, University of Erlangen-Nürnberg, Germany, for her help with the psychometric testing of the subjects/patients and statistics and Dr. Basile Landis, Department of Otorhinolaryngology, University of Dresden Medical School, Dresden, Germany, for critical comments.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Smell and Taste ClinicUniversity of Dresden Medical SchoolDresdenGermany

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