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COVID-19 olfactory dysfunction: associations between coping, quality of life, and mental health

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P.T. Jacobson - B.J. Vilarello - C. Snyder - T-H. Choo - F.F. Caruana - L.W. Gallagher - J.P. Tervo - J.B. Gary - T.M. Saak - D.A. Gudis - P.V. Joseph - T.E. Goldberg - D.P. Devanand - J.B. Overdevest

BACKGROUND: Persistent olfactory dysfunction (OD) is a common symptom following SARS-CoV-2 infection that can greatly impact quality of life (QoL). Because coping strategies have been shown to moderate the effect of disease symptoms on functional and affective outcomes, this study aims to determine whether specific coping strategies are associated with and moderate QoL outcomes. METHODOLOGY: Participants with prior SARS-CoV-2 infection underwent psychophysical olfactory testing with Sniffin’ Sticks and completed questionnaires to elicit subjective olfactory function, coping strategies, olfactory-specific QoL, general QoL, and mental health. RESULTS: There were 93 participants included in the study. Olfactory specific QoL scores were significantly worse among individuals with subjective and psychophysically measured OD compared to those with subjective and psychophysically confirmed normosmia. Olfactory-specific QoL, general QoL, and anxiety symptom scores were positively correlated with avoidant and disengagement coping among individuals with subjective and psychophysically measured OD. Depression symptom scores were positively correlated with avoidant and disengagement coping and negatively correlated with approach and engagement coping. There were no significant moderating effects on the association between olfactory performance and QoL or mental health screening assessment. CONCLUSIONS: Approach and engagement coping mechanisms are associated with improved depression, whereas avoidant and disengagement coping tracks with worse QoL and mental health screening assessment, offering an opportunity to counsel patients accordingly.

Rhinology 0-0: 0-0, 0000

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