Patient-centered decision making in the treatment of chronic rhinosinusitis

Zachary M. Soler, Luke Rudmik, Peter H. Hwang, Jess C. Mace, Rodney J. Schlosser, Timothy L. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

72 Scopus citations


Objectives/Hypothesis To explore possible factors that might impact a patient's choice to pursue endoscopic sinus surgery (ESS) or continue with medical management for treatment of refractory chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS). Study Design Cross-sectional evaluation of a multicenter prospective cohort. Methods Two hundred forty-two subjects with CRS were prospectively enrolled within four academic tertiary care centers across North America with ongoing symptoms despite prior medical treatment. Subjects either self-selected continued medical management (n = 62) or ESS (n = 180) for treatment of sinonasal symptoms. Differences in demographics, comorbid conditions, and clinical measures of disease severity between subject groups were compared. Validated metrics of social support, personality, risk aversion, and physician-patient relationships were compared using bivariate analyses, predicted probabilities, and receiver operating characteristic curves at the 0.05 alpha level. Results No significant differences were found between treatment groups for any demographic characteristic, clinical cofactor, or measure of social support, personality, or the physician-patient relationship. Subjects electing to pursue sinus surgery did report significantly worse average quality-of-life (QOL) scores on the 22-item Sinonasal Outcome Test (SNOT-22; P <.001) compared to those electing continued medical therapy (54.6 ± 18.9 vs. 39.4 ± 17.7), regardless of surgical history or polyp status. SNOT-22 score significantly predicted treatment selection (odds ratio, 1.046; 95% confidence interval, 1.028-1.065; P <.001) and was found to accurately discriminate between subjects choosing endoscopic sinus surgery and those electing medical management 72% of the time. Conclusions Worse patient-reported disease severity, as measured by the SNOT-22, was significantly associated with the treatment choice for CRS. Strong consideration should be given for incorporating CRS-specific QOL measures into routine clinical practice. Level of Evidence 2b. Laryngoscope, 123:2341-2346, 2013

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2341-2346
Number of pages6
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Chronic disease
  • decision making
  • drug therapy
  • general surgery
  • sinusitis
  • therapeutics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


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