Association of olfactory dysfunction in chronic rhinosinusitis with economic productivity and medication usage

Rodney J. Schlosser, Kristina A. Storck, Luke Rudmik, Timothy Smith, Jess C. Mace, Jose Mattos, Zachary M. Soler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Scopus citations


Background: Chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS) has significant impacts upon productivity, economic metrics, and medication usage; however, factors that are associated with these economic outcomes are unknown. Methods: We evaluated olfactory dysfunction in 221 patients with CRS using the Questionnaire of Olfactory Disorders-Negative Statements (QOD-NS) and the 40-item Smell Identification Test (SIT) and assessed whether an association existed between these olfactory metrics and healthcare utilization, productivity, and medication usage over the preceding 90 days. Results: After adjusting for CRS-associated comorbidities, objective measures of disease, demographics, and CRS-specific quality of life (QOL), patients with lower QOD-NS scores (worse patient-reported olfaction) had more missed days of normal productivity and employment, worse productivity levels, more hours of missed employment due to physician visits, more time caring for sinuses, greater distance traveled to medical appointment, more days of oral steroid use, and higher odds of being on disability insurance. Clinical olfaction, as measured by SIT, was associated with greater distance traveled to medical appointment and higher odds of being on disability insurance, but did not correlate with other productivity measures. Conclusion: Impaired olfactory-specific QOL is associated with significantly worse economic and productivity metrics and increased medication usage even after adjusting for CRS-specific comorbidities, objective measures of disease, demographics, and severity of CRS-specific QOL. Future studies are warranted to determine if targeting the impaired olfactory-specific QOL noted in patients with CRS results in improved productivity and economic outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalInternational Forum of Allergy and Rhinology
StateAccepted/In press - 2016



  • Chronic rhinosinusitis
  • Olfaction
  • Olfactory test
  • Productivity
  • Quality of life

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Otorhinolaryngology

Cite this