Better Measures Reveal More COVID-19 Smell Loss

Studies that used direct measures versus self-report of smell loss could explain the a wide range of estimates – studies using direct measures, about 77% of COVID-19 patients had smell loss versus only 44% with self-report.

Direct measures of smell ability involve having patients smell and report on actual odorants, whereas self-report methods include obtaining data through patient questionnaires, interviews, or electronic health records. Direct measures are objective whereas self-report are subjective measures of a person’s experience.

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