European Archives of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology

, Volume 269, Issue 12, pp 2581–2584 | Cite as

Improved quality of life in adults undergoing tonsillectomy for recurrent tonsillitis. Is adult tonsillectomy really a low priority treatment?

  • Harry R. F. Powell
  • N. Mehta
  • N. Daly
  • G. W. R. Watters


There is a paucity of studies on patient-reported outcome measures in adult tonsillectomy. Our aim was to add to the body of health-related quality of life (HRQOL) evidence on adult tonsillectomy at a time when this intervention is being branded a low priority treatment in the United Kingdom (UK). We designed a prospective questionnaire study that was carried out in two UK district general hospitals. 41 patients were recruited into the study and completed a pre-operative short form 36 questionnaire. All 41 were contacted at least 1 year after tonsillectomy and were asked to complete the same SF-36 questionnaire and three additional HRQOL questions. There was a significant improvement in quality of life shown by both the mean SF-36 scores and the HRQOL questions. The SF-36 summary measures and the total SF-36 scores improved significantly (p < 0.01). The study emphasises the importance of tonsillectomy being available on the National Health Service to adults with recurrent tonsillitis. This proven quality of life improvement is also highly likely to confer a secondary health economic benefit from less GP attendances and fewer missed work days.


Adult tonsillectomy Recurrent tonsillitis Health-related quality of life Patient-reported outcome measures 


Conflict of interest

None to declare.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Harry R. F. Powell
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • N. Mehta
    • 1
    • 2
  • N. Daly
    • 1
  • G. W. R. Watters
    • 2
  1. 1.West Middlesex University HospitalMiddlesexUK
  2. 2.Southend University HospitalEssexUK
  3. 3.Royal National Throat, Nose and Ear HospitalLondonUK

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