Utilization Patterns of Topical Intranasal Steroid Therapy for Chronic Rhinosinusitis: A Canadian Population-Based Analysis

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Abstract

Importance

Practice guidelines have provided a strong recommendation for the daily use of topical intranasal steroid therapy for patients with chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS). Deficiencies in utilization of intranasal steroid therapy may represent a gap in quality of care.

Objective

To evaluate the utilization patterns of topical intranasal steroid therapy for CRS in the Canadian population.

Design, Setting, and Participants

Retrospective review of a Canadian population-based health care administrative database. A validated case definition for CRS was applied, and the utilization of topical intranasal steroid therapy within this cohort was quantified during the 2014-2015 fiscal year.

Interventions

Intranasal steroid spray for CRS.

Main Outcomes and Measures

Primary outcome was the rate (per 100 patients) and quantity (per patient) of intranasal steroid spray utilization in patients with CRS. Secondary outcome was the geographic variation in the rate and quantity of intranasal steroid spray utilization for CRS.

Results

A total of 19 057 adult patients with CRS were evaluated. The overall rate of intranasal steroid spray utilization was 20.1 per 100 patients with CRS (3821 of 19 057). In the 3821 patients with CRS who used an intranasal steroid spray during 2014 to 2015, the mean quantity of utilization was 2.4 U (1 U = 1 bottle per month) per patient (9314 U divided by 3821 patients with CRS). There was large geographic variation in both the rate and quantity of intranasal steroid spray utilization (P < .001 for both comparisons).

Conclusions and Relevance

Topical intranasal steroid therapy continues to be underutilized for patients with CRS. Given the negative impact of low-quality medical care, outcomes from this study indicate a need to further evaluate factors leading to the underutilization of a recommended treatment in patients with CRS to improve overall health system performance.

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