Patient-centered decision making: the role of the baseline SNOT-22 in predicting outcomes for medical management of chronic rhinosinusitis

Toby O. Steele, Luke Rudmik, Jess C. Mace, Adam S. DeConde, Jeremiah A. Alt, Timothy L. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Background: For patients with chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS), the decision to elect continued medical management vs surgery is complex and involves tradeoffs between benefits, risks, and overall effectiveness of each therapy. The purpose of this study is to investigate whether baseline disease-specific quality of life (QOL) can assist in predicting outcomes in patients with refractory CRS who elect continued medical management. Methods: CRS patients electing medical management were enrolled in a prospective, multi-institutional cohort study. Patients were stratified into pretreatment 22-item Sino-Nasal Outcome Test (SNOT-22) subgroups based on 10-point score increments (eg, 10 to 19, 20 to 29, 30 to 39, etc.) to capture potential outcome differences by baseline SNOT-22 disease burden. The proportion of patients achieving minimal clinically important difference (MCID≥9 points) and relative improvement (%) for each score category were calculated. Results: Seventy-five CRS patients with a mean ± standard deviation pretreatment SNOT-22 score of 45.2 ± 16.6 were followed for a mean of 14.9 months. The majority of participants electing medical therapy failed to improve 1 MCID (57%) with a mean relative score improvement of 16%. Overall, 37% of patients maintained baseline SNOT-22 QOL status, whereas 20% of patients deteriorated >1 MCID. When treatment crossover patients (to endoscopic sinus surgery [ESS]) were included (n = 117), approximately 1 in 4 (27%) patients achieved an MCID. Conclusion: Results from this study suggest that the majority of CRS patients electing ongoing medical management with low baseline disease-specific QOL impairment maintain stable QOL with continued medical management. Furthermore, of CRS patients electing ongoing medical therapy, approximately 1 in 4 patients achieved MCID, whereas 1 in 5 experienced deterioration by >1 MCID.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)590-596
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Forum of Allergy and Rhinology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2016


  • case-control studies
  • medical therapy management
  • outcome assessment
  • patient outcome assessment
  • sinusitis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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