Patient's quality of life and hearing outcomes after stapes surgery

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To determine the quality of life (QOL) after stapes surgery and whether audiological parameters for hearing correlate with specific QOL factors.


A retrospective cross-sectional study.


A tertiary referral centre.


A series of 35 patients who underwent stapes surgery of which three were excluded because they were <18 years of age, chronically or mentally ill, or in a dependant relationship. Response rate was 93% (30/32). Nine were further excluded because they had revision or bilateral surgery, or missing data. Twenty-one patients were included in this study.

Main outcome measures

The Glasgow Benefit Inventory (GBI) was used to evaluate general QOL and the Hearing Disability and Handicap Scale (HDHS) was used as a disease-specific measure. The Belfast Rule of Thumb and Glasgow Benefit Plot assessed hearing outcomes.


Operative success was 86% using the Belfast Rule of Thumb and 95% had closure of the air–bone gap to within 20 dB. 81.8% of patients reported a better overall QOL as surgery. Glasgow Benefit Inventory Social and GBI Physical scores correlated positively with the HDHS speech component (P < 0.05). The duration of hearing loss correlated inversely with the average HDHS score (P < 0.05).


The majority of patients report a better QOL as undergoing stapes surgery. Speech impacts on people's physical and social QOL of patients. Quality of life tools, in addition to objective audiologic measurements can provide clinicians with patients' subjective perspective that helps guide clinical decision-making and counselling.

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