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This study aimed to measure changes in disease-specific quality of life in children following tonsillectomy or adenotonsillectomy.
A multicentre prospective cohort study was performed involving seven ENT departments in England. A total of 276 children entered the study over a 2-month period: 107 underwent tonsillectomy and 128 adenotonsillectomy. Forty-one children referred with throat problems initially managed by watchful waiting were also recruited. The follow-up period was 12 months. Outcome measures were the T14, parental impressions of their child's quality of life and the number of days absent from school.
One-year follow-up data were obtained from 150 patients (52 per cent). The mean baseline T14 score in the non-surgical group was significantly lower (T14 = 23) than in the tonsillectomy group (T14 = 31) or the adenotonsillectomy group (T14 = 35; p < 0.001). There was a significant improvement in the T14 scores of responders in all groups at follow up. The effect size was 1.3 standard deviations (SD) for the non-surgical group, 2.1 SD for the tonsillectomy group and 1.9 SD for the adenotonsillectomy group. Between-group differences did not reach statistical significance. A third of children in the non-surgical group underwent surgery during the follow-up period.
Children who underwent surgical intervention achieved a significant improvement in disease-specific quality of life. Less severely affected children were managed conservatively and also improved over 12 months, but 1 in 3 crossed over to surgical intervention.
To assess the feasibility of designing and implementing a speech in noise test in children before and after grommet insertion, and to analyse the results of such a test in a small group of children.
Twelve children aged six to nine years who were scheduled to undergo grommet insertion were identified. They underwent speech in noise testing before and after grommet insertion. This testing used Arthur Boothroyd word lists read at 60 dB in four listening conditions presented in a sound field: firstly in quiet conditions, then in signal to noise ratios of +10 (50 dB background noise), 0 (60 dB) and −10 (70 dB).
Mean phoneme scores were: in quiet conditions, 28.1 pre- and 30 post-operatively (p = 0.04); in 50 dB background noise (signal to noise ratio +10), 24.2 pre- and 29 post-operatively (p < 0.01); in 60 dB background noise (signal to noise ratio 0), 22.6 pre- and 27.5 post-operatively (p = 0.06); and in 70 dB background noise (signal to noise ratio −10), 13.9 pre- and 21 post-operatively (p = 0.05).
This small study suggests that speech in noise testing is feasible in this scenario. Our small group of children demonstrated a significant improvement in speech in noise scores following grommet insertion. This is likely to translate into a significant advantage in the educational environment.