To date, most studies on the relationship between chemosensory performance and quality of life have focused on orthonasal measures of olfactory function. In the current investigation, we examined the predictive value of orthonasal and flavor identification indices of olfactory function on a wide spectrum of health and sociopsychological factors, including quality of life, life satisfaction, overall health, and depressive symptoms. Participants were 178 ENT patients (Mage = 58 ± 1), representing various causes of olfactory loss: idiopathic smell loss (n = 51; Mage = 63 ± 2), sinunasal disease (n = 27; Mage = 56 ± 3), head trauma (n = 33; Mage = 51 ± 2), and infections of the upper respiratory tract (n = 67; Mage = 59 ± 2). They completed self-report questionnaires and underwent olfactory testing using Sniffin’ Sticks (orthonasal olfactory testing) and “Taste Powder” (intraorally applied flavors for retronasal olfactory testing, additionally inducing taste sensation). Data were analyzed with hierarchical regression models wherein the first step included subjects’ sex, age, and orthonasal olfaction score. In the second step, we included the “Taste Powder” score. Tested models revealed that the first step was not significantly predicting variables of interest; however, there was an improvement of the model’s predictive value when the “Taste Powder” score was added. Results of this study suggest that flavor identification significantly improves predictions of health and sociopsychological functioning of ENT patients with various etiologies.

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