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Original Investigation |

Response Shift in Quality of Life After Endoscopic Sinus Surgery for Chronic Rhinosinusitis

Adam S. DeConde, MD1; Todd E. Bodner, PhD2; Jess C. Mace, MPH, CCRP1; Timothy L. Smith, MD, MPH1
[+] Author Affiliations
1Division of Rhinology and Sinus Surgery, Oregon Sinus Center, Department of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery, Oregon Health & Science University, Portland
2Department of Psychology, Portland State University, Portland, Oregon
JAMA Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2014;140(8):712-719. doi:10.1001/jamaoto.2014.1045.
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Importance  Patient-reported measures are designed to detect a true change in outcome, but they are also subject to change from biases inherent to self-reporting: changing internal standards, changing priorities, and changing interpretations of a given instrument. These biases are collectively known as “response shifts” and can obscure true change after medical interventions.

Objective  To determine the presence of response shifts in patients with chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS) after endoscopic sinus surgery.

Design, Setting, and Participants  Multisite, prospective, observational cohort study conducted at academic tertiary care centers between February 2011 and May 2013. Study participants comprised a population-based sample of 514 adults (age ≥18 years) with CRS, who elected surgical intervention for continuing medically refractory symptoms.

Intervention  Endoscopic sinus surgery.

Main Outcomes and Measures  Preoperative and postoperative data from the 22-item Sinonasal Outcome Test (SNOT-22) survey instrument was characterized using exploratory factor analysis. Subsequent longitudinal structural equation models were estimated to test structure, potential response shifts, and true change in the SNOT-22 scores.

Results  A total of 339 participants (66.0%) provided survey evaluations at baseline and 6-month follow-up. Factor analysis of the SNOT-22 revealed 5 correlated, yet distinguishable, underlying factors. Endoscopic sinus surgery had a differential impact across these factors, with the largest effect size in rhinologic symptoms (mean [SD] SNOT-22 scores before and after surgery, 13.18 [5.11] and 7.37 [5.48], respectively; d = −1.13 [P < .001]) and extranasal rhinologic symptoms (8.31 [3.46] and 4.83 [3.68], respectively; d = −1.00 [P < .05]) (d is an effect size measure defined as the difference in means divided by the presurgery SD). Endoscopic sinus surgery had a smaller, yet significant, effect size on the remaining 3 factors: ear/facial symptoms (7.32 [4.6]) and 3.90 [4.07], respectively; d = −0.74 [P < .001]), psychological dysfunction (11.90 [7.21] and 6.50 [6.69], respectively; d = −0.75 [P < .05]), and sleep dysfunction (10.12 [5.59] and 5.88 [5.37], respectively; d = −0.76 [P < .001]). Participants were found to undergo recalibration, reprioritization, and reconceptualization of symptoms after intervention; however, the magnitude of these response shifts was small and not clinically significant.

Conclusions and Relevance  The SNOT-22 measures 5 distinct factors, not a single construct. Reporting of individual subscale scores may improve sensitivity of this instrument in future studies. Participants undergoing endoscopic sinus surgery experience only clinically insignificant response shifts, validating assessment of change through use of presurgery and postsurgery SNOT-22 responses.

Trial Registration  clinicaltrials.gov Identifier: NCT01332136

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