Objective: To determine the type and prevalence of measurement methods used to analyze symptom outcomes after endoscopic sinus surgery (ESS).
Data Sources: Data were derived from PubMed, MEDLINE, EMBASE, Web of Science, Cochrane databases, Google Scholar, and manual searches.
Study Selection: All English-language studies consisting of more than 10 adult patients from January 1980 to December 2006 reporting ESS symptom outcome results were reviewed. Studies of radical surgery and studies involving patients with significant comorbidities were excluded.
Results: The ESS symptom outcome results of 29,333 patients were reported in 204 studies. Symptom outcome was determined by survey instruments in 47 (23.0%) studies and individual symptom scoring in 63 (31%) studies. Of 18 validated instruments used, almost two thirds of studies that reported results by survey measures used the following three instruments: Chronic Sinusitis Survey (12 studies), Sinonasal Outcome Test-20 (11 studies), and Medical Outcomes study 36-Item Short-Form Health Survey (10 studies). The percentages of studies that reported specific results of the 1997 American Academy of Otolaryngology–Head Neck Surgery Rhinosinusitis Task Force (RSTF) chronic rhinosinusitis symptom criteria varied as follows: facial pain/pressure, 35%; facial congestion/fullness, 10%; nasal obstruction/blockage, 42%; nasal discharge/purulence/discolored postnasal discharge, 47%; hyposmia/anosmia, 35%; fever, 2%; halitosis, 4%; fatigue, 11%; dental pain, 3%; cough, 10%; and ear pain/pressure/fullness, 6%.
Conclusions: ESS symptom outcome is assessed inconsistently by numerous measures. Individual report- ing of all RSTF chronic rhinosinusitis symptom criteria, as recommended by the RSTF and by subsequent consensus conferences, is rarely noted. Many RSTF symptom criteria are seldom studied.