Objective To determine the time interval during which quality-of-life (QOL) outcomes stabilize after endoscopic sinus surgery (ESS). Study Design Multi-institutional, longitudinal cohort. Setting Tertiary rhinology centers. Subjects and Methods Adults with chronic rhinosinusitis from three medical centers were asked to provide responses to the Rhinosinusitis Disability Index (RSDI) and the Chronic Sinusitis Survey (CSS) at baseline and six months, 12 months, and 20 months after endoscopic sinus surgery. Repeated measures and post-hoc analyses were used to compare QOL scores among follow-up time points. Subgroup analyses were performed in a similar fashion for patients with and without nasal polyposis, asthma, allergies, acetylsalicylic acid intolerance, depression, and previous sinus surgery. Results A total of 127 patients provided complete follow-up data for all three time points. Improvement in QOL scores was seen at six months after surgery for both the RSDI and CSS instruments. When comparing changes in mean QOL scores among all follow-up time points, there were no significant differences in either RSDI or CSS total scores (all P < 0.853) or subscale scores (all P < 0.251) between six, 12, and 20 months. Each individual subgroup demonstrated stable QOL scores between six and 20 months' follow-up, including patients with polyposis and those with intolerance to acetylsalicylic acid (all P < 0.275). Conclusion At a cohort level, improvements in QOL after ESS do not appear to change between six and 20 months. Clinical trial designs incorporating QOL outcomes after ESS should consider the six-month time frame as an appropriate primary end point.
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