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An Observational Pragmatic Quality of Life Study on Paediatric Tonsillectomy and Waiting for Surgery
  • Julie Huynh,
  • Charmaine Woods,
  • Eng Ooi
Julie Huynh
Flinders Medical Centre

Corresponding Author:julie.huynh@sa.gov.au

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Charmaine Woods
Flinders University
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Eng Ooi
Flinders Medical Centre
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Introduction Paediatric tonsillectomy performed for sleep disordered breathing or recurrent tonsillitis and the effects on a child’s quality of life symptoms while waiting for surgery in an Australian public health system have not previously been investigated. This study investigated parental perceptions of the effects of tonsillectomy on their child’s quality of life while awaiting tonsillectomy and following surgery. Design, Setting and Participants An observational study was undertaken at a tertiary Australian hospital. Parents of paediatric patients (2 to 16 years of age) listed for tonsillectomy completed a validated quality of life questionnaire (T—14 Paediatric Throat Disorders Outcome Test) at the initial consultation, on day of surgery, 6 weeks post-operatively and 6 months post-operatively. T-14 scores were compared using the Related-Samples Wilcoxon Signed Rank Test. Results Parents of 167 children participated in this study. There was a median wait time of 174 days (IQR 108 – 347) from the initial consultation until the day of surgery, with no significant change in median T-14 scores (35 [IQR 22 - 42] vs 36 [IQR 22 - 42]; n= 63; p > 0.05). There was a significant decrease from pre-operative T-14 scores to 6 weeks post-operatively (33.5 [IQR 22 - 42] vs 2 [IQR 0 - 5]; n = 160; p < 0.001), and this was sustained with a minor improvement at 6 months post-operatively (6-week 2 [IQR 0 - 5] vs 6-month 0 [IQR 0 - 2]; n = 148; p < 0.001). Conclusion Paediatric tonsillectomy improves the patient’s quality of life as perceived by their parents with a sustained benefit in the long term. There is no improvement to the patient’s quality of life while awaiting tonsillectomy, thus patient welfare can be improved through reducing waiting times for surgery.