Smell and Taste Disorders – Current Care and Treatment in the Dutch Health Care System

S. Boesveldt, Elbrich Postma, W. Boek, C. de Graaf

Research output: Contribution to journalAbstractAcademic


Smell and taste disorders affect 5-20% of the general population
and can have profound effects on the quality of life.
However, at present, not much attention is given to these patients in the regular health care system, and diagnosis and
treatment are limited. In order to improve this, we decided
to set up a Smell and Taste clinic in the Netherlands, as collaboration
between ENT physicians and sensory scientists.
We designed a questionnaire to explore the current care and
treatment that patients receive in the Dutch health care system,
and how they perceive this, to investigate what can be
improved. The questionnaire was sent out to members of the
Dutch anosmia patient organization. Data of 83 respondents
so far (26 male) show that, while 36% report an olfactory
disorder and 65% a combined smell- and taste disorder,
25% of these patients have not been formally diagnosed,
even though 90% of them have visited one or more physicians
(general practitioners, ENT specialists or other), with
over 10% having visited 4 or more physicians. More than half
(56%) of the respondents have not had any smell or taste
tests to objectify their complaints, and only 26% has received
medication as possible treatment. Perhaps surprisingly, 43%
of respondents report to be (very) satisfied with the received
care and treatment so far by the physicians, while 17% feel
(very) unsatisfied. More data will be collected and analyzed.
These data give insight into the current care and treatment
of smell and taste disorders in the Dutch health care system,
and show that this can be clearly improved, especially given
the impact these disorders can have on daily life. Opening
a Smell and Taste clinic, as a one-stop-shop for diagnosis,
treatment and information, will prove to be valuable for
these patients. Acknowledgements: Supported by University Funds, as well as by the Nutrional Alliance Gelderse Vallei.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)623-624
JournalChemical Senses
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2015
EventAssociation for Chemoreception Sciences (AChemS), 37th Annual Meeting - Bonita Springs, Florida, United States
Duration: 22 Apr 201525 Apr 2015


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