A simple visual analogue scale to assess the quality of life in women with urinary incontinence

Abdel-Fattah, M., Ramsay, I. and Barrington, J.W. (2007)

This study considered whether a simple visual analogue scale – "incontinence bothersome scale (IBS)" – can be used to reliably assess the quality of life in women with urinary incontinence.

200 women with urinary incontinence participated in this study over a period of one year.  They completed the Kings Health Questionnaire v7 (KHQ) and the Incontinence Bothersome Scale (IBS).

The results of the IBS were then compared to the total KHQ score and to each domain separately using a Pearson correlation test.  The women were then allocated into one of two main groups according to their urodynamic diagnosis – urodynamic stress incontinence or detrusor overactivity – and the total KHQ score was then compared with the IBS score in each group.

The study identified that IBS scores had poor correlation with the total KHQ scores, and the difference between both arms was not found to be statistically significant.  Aside from the impact of incontinence domain, all other domains in the KHQ correlated poorly to the IBS.

The study concludes that a simple visual scale is NOT a reliable tool in assessing the QoL in women with urinary incontinence.  A formal, validated and reliable QoL questionnaire is still the method of choice for QoL assessment, even if it takes longer to complete.

European Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology and Reproductive Biology (2007) 133:1 86-89

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