To investigate whether a new clinical olfactory test, the Odor Stick Identification Test for Japanese (OSIT-J), can be used to assess olfactory function cross-culturally in a US patient population.
Cross-sectional prospective study.
A university medical center otolaryngology clinic.
Fifty US patients presenting with complaints of olfactory dysfunction from December 2004 to January 2006.
Olfactory testing and patient interview.
Main Outcome Measures
Comparison of test results obtained with the OSIT-J, the Connecticut Chemosensory Clinical Research Center (CCCRC) olfactory function test, and patients' self-reported level of olfactory function. Patients' opinions regarding the 2 test methods were also recorded.
The mean ± SD time required to administer the OSIT-J (8 ± 1 minutes) was shorter than that required for the standard CCCRC test (21 ± 6 minutes). Significant Spearman rank correlations were found between the OSIT-J and CCCRC test scores (rs = 0.80, P<.001, n = 50), and patients' self-reported level of olfactory function (rs = 0.73, P<.001, n = 50). Although 3 of the 13 odors used in the OSIT-J were not familiar to US subjects, patients reported that the OSIT-J was easier, more interesting, and the odors used more pleasant than the CCCRC test.
Olfactory function tests developed in different countries should be evaluated to determine if a cross-cultural bias exists among test odorants. Although a cultural bias was detected for a few odorants, this study demonstrates that a modified version of the OSIT-J can be used to assess olfactory function in US patients.