The study was conducted by John H. Krouse, MD, FACS, and Helene
J. Krouse, PhD, ARNP, a nurse practitioner, both from Ormond Beach,
FL and was released in September 1998. Their study examined sinus-related
symptomatology and quality life for those who have undergone surgery
and those receiving medical treatment only.
Background on Chronic Sinusitis
More than that 30 million Americans suffer from chronic allergic
sinusitis and rhinosinusitis, the most common chronic disease
in the United States. Both conditions account for millions of
physician visits yearly, accounting for billions in health care
costs. Traditional treatments for sinusitis include the use of
medications and endoscopic surgery, the latter recommended when
the sinus passages are permanently blocked.
It is estimated 40 percent of sinusitis sufferers use alternative
and complementary techniques along with traditional treatments
to control their symptoms. These alternative and complementary
therapies include acupuncture, chiropractic manipulation, biofeedback,
herbal therapy, exercise and the use of air filters.
The study group selected consisted of 340 patients diagnosed with
chronic sinusitis based on the results of a CT (computed tomography)
scan and/or endoscopic nasal examinations conducted five years
earlier. All patients had been treated with medical and/or surgical
therapy. This group was mailed a set of survey instruments describing
the study and asked to respond.
Eighty-four patients returned the questionnaires (response rate
of 31 percent). Of this group, 59 had undergone endoscopic sinus
surgery in addition to medical treatment, and 25 were treated with
medical therapy alone. The mean age of patients in this study was
63 years, with an age range of 27 to 83 years. CT scans were obtained
for patients at the time of their original treatment.
Patients' use of alternative and complementary therapies were
assessed using a 20 item self-reporting questionnaire developed
by the researchers. Sinus-related symptomatology and quality of
life were assessed using the Sino-Nasal Outcome Tool, a survey
instrument used to rate 16 common sinus-related symptoms. A correlation
was conducted using both survey results.
The study results produced the following key conclusions regarding
chronic sinusitis sufferers:
Exercise is employed more frequently than any therapy or treatment
in an effort to control symptoms. Other complementary therapies
such as air filters and dietary supplements were also used more
than traditional medical treatments.
Younger patients were more symptomatic and perceived a lower standard
of living than did their older counterparts. Additionally, this
age group is more likely to use alternative therapies to augment
both prescriptive and non-prescriptive medications.
Surgical therapy does appear to improve the quality of life for
those with severe disease. Symptoms may continue, however, but
to a lesser degree.
Source: American Academy of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery