Does comorbid anxiety predict quality of life outcomes in patients with chronic rhinosinusitis following endoscopic sinus surgery?

Toby O. Steele, Jess C. Mace, Timothy L. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


Background: Approximately 25% of patients with chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS) have comorbid anxiety and both conditions independently decrease quality of life (QOL). QOL outcomes for CRS and depression have garnered the majority of research attention, but efforts to better understand the impact of anxiety disorders on QOL are increasing. We evaluated the role of comorbid anxiety in patients with CRS undergoing endoscopic sinus surgery (ESS). Methods: Adult patients (n = 148) with CRS with and without comorbid anxiety were prospectively enrolled into a treatment outcomes investigation. History of comorbid anxiety was retrospectively identified (n = 30; 20%) and preoperative and postoperative QOL (Rhinosinusitis Disability Index [RSDI], and 22-item Sino-Nasal Outcome Test [SNOT-22]) scores were compared to patients without comorbid anxiety. Results: Compared to patients without anxiety, patients with anxiety were found to be younger (p = 0.02) and have a higher prevalence of female gender (p = 0.05), diabetes mellitus (p < 0.001), depression (p < 0.001), and tobacco use (p = 0.03). Participants with comorbid anxiety reported significantly worse preoperative psychological dysfunction as measured by SNOT-22 subdomain scores (p = 0.02), as well as worse preoperative functional (p = 0.04) and emotional (p = 0.001) impairment as evaluated by RSDI subdomain scores. After adjustment for other cofactors, patients with anxiety improved significantly less on SNOT-22 total scores compared to participants without anxiety after ESS (p = 0.02). Conclusion: Anxiety occurs with higher prevalence in patients with CRS and the presence of comorbid anxiety is associated with worse preoperative QOL and reduced QOL improvement following ESS. These findings warrant improvement in screening, diagnosis, and treatment for patients with CRS and comorbid anxiety.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)829-838
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Forum of Allergy and Rhinology
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2015


  • Anxiety
  • Chronic disease
  • Depression
  • Endoscopy
  • General surgery
  • Mental health
  • Psychiatric distress
  • Quality of life
  • Sinusitis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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