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J Urol. 2012 Nov;188(5):1811-5. doi: 10.1016/j.juro.2012.07.044. Epub 2012 Sep 19.

How dry is "OAB-dry"? Perspectives from patients and physician experts.

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  • 1Division of Urology, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Beverly Hills, California 90211, USA.



Overactive bladder is subtyped into overactive bladder-wet and overactive bladder-dry, based on the presence or absence, respectively, of urgency incontinence. To better understand patient and physician perspectives on symptoms among women with overactive bladder-wet and overactive bladder-dry, we performed patient focus groups and interviews with experts in urinary incontinence.


Five focus groups totaling 33 patients with overactive bladder symptoms, including 3 groups of overactive bladder-wet and 2 groups of overactive bladder-dry patients, were conducted. Topics addressed patient perceptions of overactive bladder symptoms, treatments and outcomes. A total of 12 expert interviews were then done in which experts were asked to describe their views on overactive bladder-wet and overactive bladder-dry. Focus groups and expert interviews were transcribed verbatim. Qualitative data analysis was performed using grounded theory methodology, as described by Charmaz.


During the focus groups sessions, women screened as overactive bladder-dry shared the knowledge that they would probably leak if no toilet were available. This knowledge was based on a history of leakage episodes in the past. Those few patients with no history of leakage had a clinical picture more consistent with painful bladder syndrome than overactive bladder. Physician expert interviews revealed the belief that many patients labeled as overactive bladder-dry may actually be mild overactive bladder-wet.


Qualitative data from focus groups and interviews with experts suggest that a spectrum exists between very mild overactive bladder-wet and severe overactive bladder-wet. Scientific investigations are needed to determine whether urgency without fear of leakage constitutes a unique clinical entity.

Copyright © 2012 American Urological Association Education and Research, Inc. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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