International Urogynecology Journal

, Volume 25, Issue 7, pp 947–951 | Cite as

The “bother” of urinary incontinence

  • Gerda Trutnovsky
  • Daniela Ulrich
  • Rodrigo Guzman Rojas
  • Kristy Mann
  • Thomas Aigmueller
  • Hans P. Dietz
Original Article


Introduction and hypothesis

Patient reported measures are important for the evaluation of symptom-specific bother and the distinction between different types of urinary incontinence. The aim of the study was to assess the validity of physician administered visual analogue scales (VAS) for the bother from stress urinary incontinence (SUI) and urge urinary incontinence (UUI).


In this prospective cohort study based at a tertiary urogynecological unit, women attending for investigation of lower urinary tract symptoms (n = 504) were asked to indicate their subjective bother from SUI and UUI on a 10-cm VAS. Clinical assessment, including multichannel urodynamic testing and 4D translabial ultrasound was performed for clinical diagnosis. Linear regression was used to model the average increase in VAS bother score of SUI and UUI for each explanatory variable.


74 % (n = 375) reported symptoms of SUI, with mean bother of 5.7 out of 10 (SD 2.8), and 73 % (n = 370) symptoms of UUI, with a mean bother of 6.5 out of 10 (SD 2.6). Bother from UUI was positively associated with the symptoms of nocturia (p < 0.0001) and frequency (p = 0.002), and the urodynamic findings of detrusor overactivity (p < 0.0001). Bother from SUI was positively related to the urodynamic diagnosis of USI (p < 0.0001) and a low abdominal leak point pressure (ALPP) (p = 0.002), as well as to the ultrasound findings of cystourethrocele (p < 0.0001) and funnelling (p = 0.04). All univariate associations remained highly significant on multivariate analysis, controlling for age, BMI, parity, previous incontinence/prolapse surgery and previous hysterectomy.


Physician-administered VAS are a valid, reliable and practicable tool to measure bother related to SUI and UUI.


Visual analogue scale Bother Stress urinary incontinence Urge urinary incontinence Urodynamics Translabial ultrasound 


Financial disclaimer

H.P. Dietz has received unrestricted educational grants from GE Medical.

Conflict of interest



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Copyright information

© The International Urogynecological Association 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gerda Trutnovsky
    • 1
    • 3
  • Daniela Ulrich
    • 1
    • 3
  • Rodrigo Guzman Rojas
    • 1
    • 4
  • Kristy Mann
    • 2
  • Thomas Aigmueller
    • 3
  • Hans P. Dietz
    • 1
  1. 1.Sydney Medical School Nepean, Obstetrics and GynaecologyUniversity of SydneySydneyAustralia
  2. 2.NHMRC Clinical Trial CentreUniversity of SydneySydneyAustralia
  3. 3.Obstetrics and GynecologyMedical University of GrazGrazAustria
  4. 4.Ginecología y ObstetriciaClínica Alemana de SantiagoSantiago Región MetropolitanaChile

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