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21-09-2014 | Gynaecology | Article

OABSS reveals impact of symptoms on women’s quality of life


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medwireNews: The Overactive Bladder Symptom Score (OABSS) questionnaire is valuable for assessing the impact of OAB symptoms on women’s health-related quality of life (HRQoL), shows a large survey of Japanese women.

The research also indicates that the impact of OAB symptoms on QoL increases with patient’s advancing age, say Momokazu Gotoh (Nagoya University Graduate School of Medicine, Japan) and colleagues writing in Neurourology and Urodynamics.

Gotoh et al analysed data on 967 women who had participated in SET-Q, an observational study of treatment-naïve patients with OAB who experienced urgency at least once a week and had at least one other symptom. The women’s mean age was 66 years.

All women had their symptoms quantified using the OABSS. The mean total score was 9.0 and mean urgency score was 3.5. And 64.9% of women presented with all four OAB symptoms (daytime frequency, nighttime frequency, urgency and urgency incontinence).

HRQoL was assessed using the OAB-questionnaire (OAB-q). On this instrument, the mean symptom bother score was 51.1; among the QoL subdomains, scores were lowest for coping (mean 58.6), highest for social interaction (80.9) and intermediate for sleep and concern.

When results were stratified by patient age, symptom severity (as indicated by total OABSS score) increased from 7.0 in the under 50s to 10.3 in the over 80s. This trend was driven by a significant age-related increase in severity of nighttime frequency and urgency incontinence.

By contrast, symptom bother (scored on the OAB-q) did not vary by age. OABSS total scores rose in line with OAB-q scores for symptom bother and impairment in HRQoL, however.

In multiple regression analyses, the severity of urgency and nighttime frequency significantly correlated with symptom bother, while age negatively correlated with urgency incontinence with respect to coping, concern, social interaction and HRQoL.

The researchers say their study suggests that elderly women frequently experience all four OAB symptoms and that the coexistence of OAB symptoms alongside urgency and bother is more common in older as opposed to younger women.

“This large sample study, by utilizing the scored questionnaire for symptom severity, bother and [HRQoL], showed that the symptoms with the highest bother were age-dependent,” Gotoh et al conclude. “It was also confirmed that symptom bother will be inferred by the OABSS.”

medwireNews ( is an independent clinical news service provided by Springer Healthcare Limited. © Springer Healthcare Ltd; 2014

By Joanna Lyford, Senior medwireNews Reporter

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