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Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2002 May;128(5):489-96.

Impact of adenotonsillectomy on quality of life in children with obstructive sleep disorders.

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Division of Pediatric Otolaryngology, The Children's Hospital of New York, 3959 Broadway, Room 501N, New York, NY 10032, USA.



To determine the impact of adenotonsillectomy on quality of life (QOL) in children with obstructive sleep disorders (OSDs) before and after surgery.


Prospective, observational, before-and-after trial.


Seven tertiary pediatric otolaryngology practices.


Convenience sample of 101 children (mean age, 6.2 years) with adenotonsillar hypertrophy and OSD scheduled for adenotonsillectomy.


Adenotonsillectomy was performed in children for OSDs. Quality of life was assessed using the Obstructive Sleep Disorders-6 survey, a validated instrument for detecting QOL change in children with OSDs. Surveys were completed at the initial office visit (visit 1), the day of surgery (visit 2), and at the postoperative office visit (visit 3). Physical characteristics were assessed using tonsillar and orocraniofacial scales (visit 1). Satisfaction with health care decisions was assessed using the Satisfaction With Decision and Satisfaction With Office Visit scales (visit 1).


Short-term changes in QOL before (visits 1 and 2) and after (visits 2 and 3) surgery.


Changes in QOL before surgery were trivial or small, and smaller than changes after surgery (mean change score, 0.18 vs 2.3; P<.001). Large, moderate, and small improvements in QOL were seen in 74.5%, 6.1%, and 7.1% of children, respectively. Sleep disturbance, caregiver concern, and physical suffering were the most improved domains, although significant changes also occurred for speech and swallowing problems, emotional disturbance, and activity limitations. Five percent of children had poorer QOL after surgery, but no predictive factors were identified.


Adenotonsillectomy produces large improvements in at least short-term QOL in most children with OSDs.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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