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Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand. 2009;88(2):192-9. doi: 10.1080/00016340802582041.

Urinary incontinence and quality of life in long-term gynecological cancer survivors: a population-based cross-sectional study.

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SINTEF Health Research, Trondheim, Norway.



To investigate quality of life (QoL) among women reporting urinary incontinence (UI).


Population-based cross-sectional study.


Survival status for all women who had primary treatment between 1987 and 1996 at the University Hospital, Trondheim, Norway, was assessed in 2003. Eligible for study participation were recurrence-free survivors of gynecological cancer and age-matched women selected from the general population.


Women who had no history of gynecological cancer were selected as age-matched controls in a 4:1 ratio to survivors in the population census. In 2004, all eligible participants were sent an extensive questionnaire. After one reminder the response rate was 55% (176/319) and 41% (521/1276) for survivors and controls, respectively. UI (total, stress, urge and mixed) was in agreement with definitions of the International Continence Society. QoL was measured by Ferrans and Powers' Quality of Life Index (QLI). The chi-squared test for categorical variables, unpaired T-test for continuous variables and logistic regression were applied.


A history of recurrence-free gynecologic cancer was not associated with reduced QLI. The prevalence of UI was 34.5%. Women with UI had lower scores on total QLI and all domains (health/functioning, psychological/spiritual, socio-economic, and family domain) compared with continent women. A decreasing score of QLI and its domains were found for increasing severity of UI. After adjustment for other co-morbidities UI remained an independent significant predictor of QLI below the 25. percentile, but not for QLI below the 10. percentile.


UI has a negative impact on QoL. The more severe UI, the more reduced were total and all QLI domains.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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