The published evidence in support of a tonsillectomy is equivocal relying on historical studies using objective outcome measures. Based on this, NICE have suggested that tonsillectomy is a “low clinical value treatment” and its funding curtailed by PCTs. This paper aims to prospectively evaluate the effect of a tonsillectomy on quality of life (QOL) of children affected by recurrent infective tonsillitis using a qualitative patient reported outcome measure (PROM).
Parents of children under the age of 16, undergoing a tonsillectomy, were enrolled. Parents completed a paediatric throat disorders outcome (PTDO) test prior to their child's surgery and then six months post‐operatively. Results were analysed using the Mann‐Whitney U test. The power of the study was 0.8 to detect a difference of 10 in a total score of 70.
A total of 63 children participated and an 86 per cent response rate was received at six months. The mean total score improved from 31.29 pre‐op to 7.41 post‐op (p<0.001). The mean score for the first two subgroups remained static but for the remaining 12 sub‐groups significantly improved post‐op.
The study demonstrates that performing tonsillectomies in a carefully selected cohort of children, significantly improves their QOL. It adds to a growing body of evidence that tonsillectomy is not a “low clinical value procedure” and has a substantial impact on the patients' symptoms.
Soni‐Jaiswal, A., Parry, N. and Kumar, N. (2013), "Paediatric tonsillectomy: Impact assessment using a validated patient reported outcome measure (PROM)", Clinical Governance: An International Journal, Vol. 18 No. 2, pp. 132-138. https://doi.org/10.1108/14777271311317918
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