Socioeconomic factors impact quality of life outcomes and olfactory measures in chronic rhinosinusitis

Daniel M. Beswick, Jess C. Mace, Luke Rudmik, Zachary M. Soler, Jeremiah A. Alt, Kristine A. Smith, Kara Y. Detwiller, Timothy L. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Background: Healthcare disparities related to socioeconomic factors may adversely impact disease states and treatment outcomes. Among patients with chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS), the impact of socioeconomic factors on outcomes following endoscopic sinus surgery (ESS) remains uncertain. Methods: Adult patients with refractory CRS were prospectively enrolled into an observational, multi-institutional cohort study between March 2011 and June 2015. Socioeconomic factors analyzed included household income, insurance status, years of education completed, race, age, and ethnicity. Income was stratified according to the Thompson and Hickey model. The 22-item Sino-Nasal Outcome Test (SNOT-22) and Brief Smell Identification Test (BSIT) were completed preoperatively and postoperatively. Results: A total of 392 patients met inclusion criteria. Higher age and male gender were associated with better mean preoperative SNOT-22 scores (both p < 0.02), whereas Medicare insurance status and male gender were associated with worse preoperative mean BSIT scores (both p < 0.02). Postoperatively, higher household income ($100,001+/year) and lower age were associated with a greater likelihood of improving at least 1 minimal clinically important difference (MCID) on SNOT-22 scores (OR = 2.40 and 1.03, respectively, both p < 0.05), while no factors were associated with increased odds of achieving a MCID on BSIT scores. Conclusions: Preoperative olfactory function and postoperative quality of life (QOL) improvement were associated with metrics of socioeconomic status in patients with CRS electing ESS. The odds of experiencing a clinically meaningful QOL improvement were more than twice as likely for patients with the highest household income level compared to other income tiers. Further investigation is warranted to identify barriers to postoperative improvement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)231-239
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Forum of Allergy and Rhinology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2019


  • chronic disease
  • outcome assessment (health care)
  • quality of life
  • sinusitis
  • socioeconomic factors
  • symptom assessment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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