Long-term Changes in Quality of Life after Surgery for Pediatric Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Ron B. Mitchell, James Kelly, Ellen Call, Naomi Yao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

74 Scopus citations


Objective: To study long-term changes in quality of life in children after adenotonsillectomy for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) documented by polysomnography. Design and Setting: Prospective study of children with OSA at the University of New Mexico Children's Hospital, Albuquerque. Methods: 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. Results: 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≤.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. Conclusions: 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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)409-412
Number of pages4
JournalArchives of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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