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Eur J Obstet Gynecol Reprod Biol. 2007 Jul;133(1):86-9. Epub 2006 Jun 21.

A simple visual analogue scale to assess the quality of life in women with urinary incontinence.

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Urogynaecology Unit, Southern General Hospital, South Glasgow University Hospitals, 1345 Govan Road, Glasgow G51 4TF, United Kingdom.



The objective of this study is to determine whether a simple visual analogue scale; "incontinence bothersome scale (IBS)" can reliably assess the quality of life in women with urinary incontinence.


A prospective cohort study in a UK district general hospital.


Two hundreds women with urinary incontinence participated in the study over 1-year period. They completed Kings health questionnaire version 7 (KHQ) and the incontinence bothersome scale (IBS). The results of the IBS were then compared to the total KHQ score and to each domain separately, using the Pearson correlation test. Women in the study were then classified into two main groups according to their urodynamics diagnosis (urodynamic stress incontinence group/detrusor overactivity group) and the total KHQ scores were compared with the IBS scores in each group.


The IBS scores had poor correlation with the total KHQ scores (r=0.656) and the difference between both arms was not statistically significant (p=0.084). Further analysis of KHQ domains showed that except for the impact of incontinence domain (r=0.728) all other domains correlated poorly to the IBS. This poor correlation pertained in sub-analysis of women with DO and USI (r=0.65 and 0.48, respectively).


This study has shown that a simple visual scale is not a reliable tool in assessing the QoL in women with urinary incontinence. A formal, validated and reliable QoL questionnaire is still the method of choice for QoL assessment, even if it takes longer to complete.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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