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Rhinology. 2004 Dec;42(4):189-94.

Consequences of olfactory loss and adopted coping strategies.

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Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Karolinska Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden.


The aims of this study were to investigate the effects of loss of smell as regards the quality of life and the coping strategies used.


Seventy-two patients with anosmia (46%) or hyposmia (54%) filled in the validated Multi-Clinic Smell and Taste Questionnaire, the validated General Well-being Schedule (GWBS), and answered other questions shown to be of good validity.


Several kinds of negative effects, risks associated with the loss, interference with daily routines and deteriorations in well-being were common. Physical health, financial security, profession, partnership, friendship, emotional stability and leisure were also deemed to be negatively affected and GWBS scores show compromised psychological well-being. The importance of olfaction seemed to be more noticeable after the loss of smell, and several kinds of problem- and emotion-focused coping strategies were adopted by these patients.


We found that the loss of smell had substantial adverse effects on the quality of life and that high priority should be given to its diagnosis and treatment and to further research in this field. Furthermore, a combination of problem- and emotion-focused coping strategies may be suggested to patients who have recently lost the sense of smell.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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