Quality of life and obstructive sleep apnea symptoms after pediatric adenotonsillectomy

Susan L Garetz, Ron B Mitchell, Portia D Parker, ReneƩ H Moore, Carol L Rosen, Bruno Giordani, Hiren Muzumdar, Shalini Paruthi, Lisa Elden, Paul Willging, Dean W Beebe, Carole L Marcus, Ronald D Chervin, Susan Redline
Pediatrics 2015, 135 (2): e477-86

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Data from a randomized, controlled study of adenotonsillectomy for obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS) were used to test the hypothesis that children undergoing surgery had greater quality of life (QoL) and symptom improvement than control subjects. The objectives were to compare changes in validated QoL and symptom measurements among children randomized to undergo adenotonsillectomy or watchful waiting; to determine whether race, weight, or baseline OSAS severity influenced changes in QoL and symptoms; and to evaluate associations between changes in QoL or symptoms and OSAS severity.

METHODS: Children aged 5 to 9.9 years with OSAS (N = 453) were randomly assigned to undergo adenotonsillectomy or watchful waiting with supportive care. Polysomnography, the Pediatric Quality of Life inventory, the Sleep-Related Breathing Scale of the Pediatric Sleep Questionnaire, the 18-item Obstructive Sleep Apnea QoL instrument, and the modified Epworth Sleepiness Scale were completed at baseline and 7 months. Changes in the QoL and symptom surveys were compared between arms. Effect modification according to race and obesity and associations between changes in polysomnographic measures and QoL or symptoms were examined.

RESULTS: Greater improvements in most QoL and symptom severity measurements were observed in children randomized to undergo adenotonsillectomy, including the parent-completed Pediatric Quality of Life inventory (effect size [ES]: 0.37), the 18-item Obstructive Sleep Apnea QoL instrument (ES: -0.93), the modified Epworth Sleepiness Scale score (ES: -0.42), and the Sleep-Related Breathing Scale of the Pediatric Sleep Questionnaire (ES: -1.35). Effect modification was not observed by obesity or baseline severity but was noted for race in some symptom measures. Improvements in OSAS severity explained only a small portion of the observed changes.

CONCLUSIONS: Adenotonsillectomy compared with watchful waiting resulted in significantly more improvements in parent-rated generic and OSAS-specific QoL measures and OSAS symptoms.

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