Objectives To design and validate a condition-specific quality of life questionnaire for the assessment of women with urinary incontinence, and to use the questionnaire to assess the quality of life of women with specific urodynamic diagnoses.
Setting A tertiary referral Urogynaecology unit at King's College Hospital, London
Design The questionnaire was designed following six different pilot studies; in this study it was tested for validity and reliability using standard psychometric techniques. The questionnaire was used in 293 consecutive women referred for investigation of urinary incontinence.
Results The questionnaire was shown to be reliable both by test-retest analysis and by measurement of its internal consistency. The construct of the questionnaire and the answers by respondents confirmed its face and content validity. Criterion validity was measured by correlation with scores obtained on a validated generic measure of quality of life, the Short Form 36. Women with detrusor instability had greater quality of life impairment than women with other urodynamic diagnoses.
Conclusion The questionnaire was easy for the women to use and was a valid and reliable instrument for the assessment of quality of life in women with urinary incontinence. It will be useful for the rapid appraisal and follow up of women with urinary incontinence in many different clinical settings, including the evaluation of new treatments of urinary incontinence in controlled clinical trials.