Can patients independently identify their urinary incontinence symptoms?

Publication/Presentation Date



INTRODUCTION AND HYPOTHESIS: The objective of our study is to compare patient self-reported urinary incontinence symptoms based on the International Consultation on Incontinence Questionnaire- Short Form (ICIQ-SF) question number 6 (When does urine leak?) with physician-assessed interpretation of the patient's urinary incontinence symptoms.

METHODS: This trial is a cross-sectional study of patients who presented to a tertiary urogynecology center with symptoms of urinary incontinence between January 2014 and August 2016. We compared patient-reported symptoms on the ICIQ-SF with physician interpretation of urinary complaints during their initial visit. The urinary incontinence symptoms included stress urinary incontinence (SUI), urgency urinary incontinence (UUI), insensible urine loss, nocturnal enuresis, and post-micturition dribbling.

RESULTS: A total of 432 patients with a mean age of 61 were included in this evaluation. The most common urinary incontinence symptoms according to the physician were UUI (n = 357, 83%), followed by SUI (n = 308, 71%). Of the patients who were diagnosed by a physician with the symptom of UUI, only 61% self-identified as having this symptom based on the ICIQ-SF, and for SUI, only 66% self-identified as having SUI symptoms based on the ICIQ-SF. Overall UUI (κ = 0.30) appears to have poor agreement, as does nocturnal enuresis (κ = 0.39), when compared with physician historical assessment.

CONCLUSION: There is a discrepancy between patient-reported urinary incontinence symptoms on the ICIQ-SF and physician-assessed symptoms. Symptomatology entered into electronic medical records by patients is often inaccurate. Physician validation is essential in understanding the underlying the precise symptomatology.




Obstetrics and Gynecology



Peer Reviewed for front end display



Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology

Document Type