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Keywords:

  • frequency-volume chart;
  • duration;
  • systematic review;
  • reliability studies

There are four reviews in this section; two of these relate to prostate cancer, one to paediatric urology, and one to bladder function. The prostate cancer mini-reviews concern two important areas that are talking points in urological oncology. Multidisciplinary team management, which is a very attractive idea to many, remains controversial in the eyes of some. This concept is discussed in detail, as is another controversial idea, the use of high-intensity focused ultrasound in the treatment of prostate cancer.

OBJECTIVE

To determine how the reliability of frequency-volume charts (FVCs) vary with their duration when used to assess patients with lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) and whether the duration influences patient compliance.

METHODS

Peer-reviewed studies involving patients with LUTS were searched systematically, with the selected studies assessed for their internal and external validity and statistical quality. Details of the patients and type of FVC used were summarized, and reliability coefficients and levels of compliance were extracted for commonly assessed FVC variables.

RESULTS

In all, 13 studies were considered to meet the review criteria; they assessed the reliability of FVCs lasting 1, 2, 3 and 7 days. The reliability coefficients for 3- and 7-day FVCs were generally >0.8; those for shorter charts tended to be lower, but strong conclusions could not be drawn due to study limitations. There was no obvious relationship between the duration of the FVC and the level of compliance.

CONCLUSIONS

Strong recommendations cannot be made about what duration of an FVC should be used to assess or monitor patients with LUTS. The current consensus on using FVCs of ≥ 3 days seems to be the most defensible policy, but more research of high quality is required, especially into the relationship of FVC duration with compliance.