Olfactory screening: validation of Sniffin' Sticks in Denmark.
Fjaeldstad A., Kjaergaard T., Van Hartevelt TJ., Moeller A., Kringelbach ML., Ovesen T.
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 aimed 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.