Research Outcome Tools

The focus on quality of life in patients has led to an increase in production of formal outcome evaluations in otolaryngology–head and neck surgery.

Outcome instruments in otolaryngology-head and neck surgery were compiled into a database from reviews 1-3 and recommendations from the members of the AAO-HNSF. The list was pared into major categories (ie, laryngology, otology/neurotology, rhinology, head and neck surgery, facial plastics, sleep, and allergy) and distributed to members of the Outcomes Research and Evidence-Based Medicine Committee of the AAO-HNS for review. Volunteers from this committee formed subgroups by the major category and evaluated and selected 3 to 5 instruments to include in the database based on the following criteria:

  • Quality of life, health-related quality of life, or functional status focus
  • Ease of use (including estimated time to complete and availability/accessibility of tool)
  • Reliable and valid (based on peer-reviewed literature)

Information about these instruments were further summarized, compiled, and translated to the website. This list is not meant to be exhaustive but rather a primer and foundation for members to access and implement quality of life tools in their practice. There may be tools that meet these criteria that have not been included as an oversight by the subgroups that developed the list. The list will be reviewed periodically and updated as appropriate.

Allergy Outcome Tools

Facial Plastics Outcome Tools

Head and Neck Surgery Outcome Tools

Laryngology Outcome Tools

Otology Outcome Tools

Rhinology Outcome Tools

Sleep Outcome Tools

If you have suggestions or comments on the site, we welcome your suggestions and feedback to [email protected].

Additionally, if you are already collecting data with a quality of life tool, or plan to embark on collecting, we would like to know and start a database of this information ([email protected]).


Because this list does not currently include a formal process of evaluating and rating tools, inclusion of a tool on the list should not be interpreted as a formal endorsement by the AAO-HNSF.


We thank the American Thoracic Society whose Quality of Life Resource website was used as a model (

The following individuals volunteered their time and contributed content expertise:

Marcella Bothwell, MD

Scott Brietzke, MD, MPH

Seth Cohen, MD, MPH

M. Boyd Gillespie, MD

Eric Kezirian, MD, MPH

Ron Mitchell, MD

Paul Leong, MD

Melissa Pynnonen, MD

Hassan Ramadan, MD, MSc

John Rhee, MD, MPH

Susan Waltzman, PhD


1Rhee JS, McMullin BT. Measuring outcomes in facial plastic surgery: a decade of progress. Curr Opin Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg 2008;16:387-93.

2Meikle MB, Stewart BJ, Griest SE, Henry JA. Tinnitus outcomes assessment. Trends Amplif 2008;12:223-35.

3Hannley M. Patient-Reported Outcomes Assessment in the Practice Setting. ENToday 2008;3:8-11.

*Additional tool-specific references are noted below the individual description.

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