The following is a summary of “Development and Psychometric Validation of the Olfactory Dysfunction Outcomes Rating” published in the October 2022 issue of Otolaryngol Head Neck Surgery by Lee et al.

In light of the current COVID-19 epidemic, olfactory dysfunction (OD) has emerged as a widespread and potentially fatal illness. Because of this, it is crucial to reliably assess improvement in quality of life (QOL) due to treatment for scent loss. To create and verify a brief and aesthetically pleasing patient-reported outcome measure for OD that assesses quality of life in relation to scent loss. Items for the Olfactory Impairment Outcomes Rating were derived primarily from a secondary analysis of responses to an online survey of  1,000 patients with olfactory dysfunction Outcomes Rating (ODOR) published in 2013.   Further, 30 OD patients participating in 2 clinical studies at a major medical center (Washington University) were asked to rate the severity of their smell loss-related anxiety. After generating items from the online survey and patient interviews, 4 otolaryngologists looked them over to see if any new ones had emerged. 30 patients and 4 otolaryngologists participated in a prospective trial. 

Validation of the survey was performed using a prospective research design. The ODOR was validated with data from 283 patients who participated in multiple prospective investigations at a single institution and completed the ODOR. The creation of ODOR led to the generation and selection of products. Internal consistency, test-retest reliability, face and content validity, concurrent validity, and discriminant validity were the psychometric and clinimetric measurements used in the validation process. The smallest detectable clinically-relevant variation was also identified.  There are 28 questions in the ODOR, each of which can be answered anywhere from “no difficulty” or “extremely rarely troubled” (0) to “full difficulty” or “very regularly disturbed” (4), for a possible total score of 112 points. Scores above zero suggest minimal malfunction and maximum limitations. High levels of internal consistency (Cronbach  α =0.968), test-retest reliability (r=0.90 [95% CI, 0.81-0.95]), face validity (r=0.87 [95% CI, 0.80-0.91] compared with the Questionnaire of Olfactory Disorders-Negative Statements), content validity  P=−0.76 [95% CI, −0.81 to −0.71]compared with the Questionnaire of Olfactory Disorders), and divergent validity (mean score difference, −33.9 [95% CI, −38.3 to −29.6] between normosmic patients and hyposmic/anosmic patients) concurrent A difference of 15 points was considered to be clinically significant. 

The survey should take no more than 5 minutes to finish. Patients’ perceptions of the ODOR’s novelty, concision, reliability, and validity as a measure of QOL related to OD were confirmed in this survey development and validation study. Certain of the increased burden of OD linked with COVID-19, this tool is particularly relevant and therapeutically applicable since it may be used to quantify the physical issues, functional limits, and emotional effects associated with OD and how they alter following a given intervention.