Olfactory screening: Validation of Sniffin' Sticks in Denmark

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OBJECTIVES: The Sniffin' Sticks 12-Identification test (SIT-12) is the most commonly applied Danish olfaction screening tool, however, it has never been validated in a Danish population. The screening score depends on familiarity with descriptors, which is strongly influenced by linguistic and cultural factors, why validation is mandatory. This study aims to validate the SIT-12 in a Danish population.

DESIGN: Prospective controlled study.

SETTING: Otorhinolaryngology department.

PARTICIPANTS: The SIT-12 was applied to 100 normosmic, healthy adult Danish participants.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Choice of descriptors was registered, along with nasal endoscopic examination, screening for cognitive impairment, depression, and sinonasal symptoms. Descriptors of the original version of SIT-12 were evaluated in 50 participants and misleading descriptors were identified. Modifications to these descriptors were subsequently validated in a comparable group of 50 participants.

RESULTS: Mean odorant identification score in the evaluation group was 11.0 of a possible 12, and 11.6 in the validation group (p<0.0001). Among all odorant identification errors in the evaluation group, 60% were due to two incorrect descriptors having close resemblance to the correct descriptors, lemon and cinnamon. Two additional descriptors were unfamiliar to more than half the participants. There was a significant difference in the distribution of wrong identification answers between odorants in the evaluation group (P<0.001), but not in the validation group.

CONCLUSIONS: The identified systematically wrong descriptors have been modified and validated in the Danish SIT-12. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
JournalClinical Otolaryngology
Pages (from-to)545-550
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2015


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