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An evaluative review of questionnaires recommended for the assessment of quality of life and symptom severity in women with urinary incontinence

Authors

  • Ann Hewison BN, MSc, PGDip,

    Study Nurse, Corresponding author
    1. Epidemiology and Cancer Statistics Group, Department of Health Sciences, University of York, York, UK
    • Correspondence: Ann Hewison, Study Nurse, Epidemiology and Cancer Statistics Group, Department of Health Sciences, University of York, Area 3, Seebohm Rowntree Building, York YO10 5DD, UK. Telephone: +44 (0)1904 321916.

      E-mail: ann.hewison@ecsg.york.ac.uk

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  • Dorothy McCaughan BA, MSc, RN,

    Research Fellow
    1. Department of Health Sciences, University of York, York, UK
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  • Ian Watt MBChB, MPH, FFPH

    Professor
    1. Department of Primary Care, University of York, York, UK
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Abstract

Aims and objectives

To provide an up-to-date assessment of the quality of commonly recommended questionnaires for measuring symptom severity and quality of life in women with urinary incontinence and also to consider their application to practice.

Background

Urinary incontinence is a common problem for women. In addition to various physical symptoms, there is a known effect on quality of life. Psychometrically robust questionnaires are reported to be the best way to measure an individual's perceptions of symptom severity and quality of life, and a number of different ones are recommended for use in international and national guidance, which can be confusing for clinicians. Moreover, there are concerns over the applicability of some of these instruments in clinical practice.

Design

An evaluative review was carried out examining selected questionnaires measuring symptom severity and/or quality of life.

Methods

Selection of questionnaires for inclusion in the review was based on the recommendations of evidence-based guidance, followed by systematic scrutiny of the characteristics of the individual recommended questionnaires.

Results

Thirteen questionnaires were included in the review, of which three appeared to ‘outperform’ the remainder in terms of their psychometric properties and other characteristics.

Conclusions

This review provides the most up-to-date and comprehensive analysis of the quality and applicability of the included questionnaires and offers the practitioner advice on which to select for use in practice.

Relevance to clinical practice

This review aims to help the practitioner choose a questionnaire based on a sound evaluation of the quality of the questionnaire and its applicability to the clinical setting.

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