Barriers to effective healthcare for patients who have smell or taste disorders

Ball, Stephen G., Boak, Duncan, Dixon, Joanne, Carrie, Sean and Philpott, Carl ORCID: (2021) Barriers to effective healthcare for patients who have smell or taste disorders. Clinical Otolaryngology, 46 (6). pp. 1213-1222. ISSN 1749-4478

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Objectives: Smell/taste disturbances are a common but underrated, under-researched and under treated sensory loss and an independent risk factor for reduced longevity. This study aimed to characterise the experience of patients with these disorders in seeking help. Design: The study was designed by patients together with clinicians through a dedicated workshop and conducted as a cross-sectional survey to capture experiences in public and private healthcare settings internationally. Setting: Primary, secondary and tertiary care. Participants: Any members of the public self-reporting a smell/taste disorder were invited to participate. Main outcome measures: The survey captured information including experience of getting consultations and referrals to medical professionals, treatments offered, costs incurred and related problems with mental health. Results: Of 673 participants; 510 female, 160 male, 3 not stated, self-reported aetiology included sinonasal disease (24%), idiopathic (24%) and post-viral olfactory dysfunction (22%); true gustatory disorders were typically rare. Failure of medical professionals to recognise the problem was a key concern - 64%, 76% and 47% of GPs, ENT specialists and Neurologists acknowledged respectively. Other issues included repeated ineffective treatments, difficulties getting referrals to secondary/tertiary care, mental health problems (60%) and a mean personal cost of £421 to seeking advice and treatment. Whilst the participants were self-selecting, however they do represent those who are seeking help and intervention for their disorders. Conclusion: There is an unmet need for these patients in accessing healthcare including a clear need to improve education of and engagement with the medical profession in Otorhinolaryngology, General Practice and other specialties, in order to remove the current barriers they face.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Early title: Barriers to accessing healthcare in patients with olfactory and gustatory disorders
Uncontrolled Keywords: neurology,olfaction disorders,otorhinolaryngology,parosmia,primary health care,smell dysfunction,otorhinolaryngology,sdg 3 - good health and well-being ,/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/2700/2733
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > Norwich Medical School
UEA Research Groups: Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > Research Groups > Respiratory and Airways Group
Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > Research Centres > Lifespan Health
Related URLs:
Depositing User: LivePure Connector
Date Deposited: 18 Aug 2021 11:27
Last Modified: 19 Oct 2023 02:44
DOI: 10.22541/au.159285606.60833639


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