Evaluation of the severity of disease and the effectiveness of operative treatment is commonly done by registering pre- and postoperative symptoms. During the preceding decade, greater awareness has focused not only on the symptoms but also on patients’ quality of life (QoL). The aim of the study was to determine the effect of septoplasty, as measured by generic and disease-specific QoL questionnaires. The generic 15D and disease-specific SNOT-22 questionnaires were given to patients before the operation and 6 months after the operation. Data analysis consisted originally of 188 septoplasty patients. One-hundred and twenty-six patients (67%) answered the SNOT-22 questions, and in the 15D, the response rate was 76%. In the post-operative SNOT-22, the need to blow the nose, sneezing, runny nose, nasal obstruction, loss of smell or taste, post-nasal discharge, facial pain/pressure, difficulty in falling asleep and waking up at night improved significantly. However in the 15D the mean QoL, i.e., general well-being, became significantly poorer. The QoL became increasingly poor especially in the older age groups and among the patients in which the improvement achieved in nasal symptoms postoperatively was minor. The more nasal symptoms the patients had pre- or postoperatively, the poorer the QoL was in general. Based on our results, critical evaluation of the symptoms and findings in the patients is essential in deciding whether surgery or other treatment should be given to individual patients having nasal blockage symptoms. Especially in patients with mild symptoms or among older patients, adequate medical treatment has to be tried before even considering surgery. The results also encourage the use of a systematic questionnaire to estimate the severity of symptoms in daily clinical practice.
Health-related quality of life Nose Outcome Septum SNOT-22 15D
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We thank Timo Pessi for doing the statistics. We also thank the Department of Otorhinolaryngology’s Research Funds for financial support.
Conflict of interest
None of the authors have any commercial association that might pose a conflict of interest.
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