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Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2004 Apr;130(4):409-12.

Long-term changes in quality of life after surgery for pediatric obstructive sleep apnea.

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Department of Surgery, University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center, Albuquerque 87131, USA.



To study long-term changes in quality of life in children after adenotonsillectomy for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) documented by polysomnography.


Prospective study of children with OSA at the University of New Mexico Children's Hospital, Albuquerque.


Children who met inclusion criteria underwent adenotonsillectomy. Caregivers were asked to complete the OSA-18 quality of life survey prior to surgery (survey 1), within 7 months after surgery (short-term) (survey 2), and between 9 and 24 months after surgery (long-term) (survey 3). Scores from the preoperative and postoperative surveys were compared using the paired t test.


The study population included 34 children, 27 (79%) of whom were male. The mean age of the children at the time of inclusion in the study was 6.7 years (range, 3.0-16.8 years). The mean total score for survey 1 (76.7) was significantly higher (P<.001) than the mean total score for survey 2 (32.0) or for survey 3 (40.9). However, the domains of sleep disturbance and physical suffering were significantly lower (P<or=.005) in survey 2 than in survey 3. The differences in the domains of emotional distress, daytime problems, and caregiver concerns between survey 2 and survey 3 were not statistically significant.


Caregivers perceive a long-term improvement in quality of life after adenotonsillectomy for OSA although these improvements are more pronounced in the short-term than in the long-term and are not uniform across all domains of the OSA-18 survey.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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