Patient-reported impact of urinary incontinence - Results from treatment seeking women in 14 European countries

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Objectives: To describe the patient-reported impact of urinary incontinence (UI) in treatment-seeking women in Europe. Design: PURE was a non-interventional, observational study, which aimed to describe the direct costs of treatment for European women seeking treatment for UI. A secondary Study objective was to describe the impact of UI on health-related quality of life (HRQoL) by UI subtype and severity of disease. This paper presents the results from quality of life assessments as well as bothersomeness and interference with daily activities from the first study observation. Subjects: Nine thousand four hundred and eighty-seven European women who had UI symptoms in the last 12 months were enrolled. Their UI symptoms were frequently those defined as mixed urinary incontinence (MUI) and were moderate to severe in nature. Measurements: HRQoL was assessed at the first observation using the urinary Incontinence-specific Quality of Life Questionnaire (I-QOL) and the EQ-5D, a generic quality of life questionnaire. Data collected from EQ-5D provided insight into the patients' general health perception, while the I-QOL data indicated how affected the women were about their UI symptoms. Higher EQ-5D and I-QOL scores represent better quality of life. Patients were asked to indicate how much UI symptoms limited selected activities and to indicate the degree to which they found their symptoms to be bothersome. Results: Overall, the median self-rated health status on the EQ-5D visual analogue scale (VAS) was 70.0 and the median EQ-5D health state index was 0.85, with small but noticeable differences observed between countries. Of the five health dimensions of the EQ-5D, patients' self-care appeared to be the least affected by UI, with fewer than 10% of the women reporting that they had some problems. Between 20 and 40% of patients had some problems with their mobility and usual activities, or had pain/discomfort or anxiety/depression. However, the impact of existing co-morbidity was not assessed and may have affected some women's scoring of the EQ-5D domains. The mean total I-QOL score overall was 57.7 and of the three subscales of the I-QOL, psychosocial impact had the highest overall scores, representing fewer problems, with lower scores observed for the avoidance and limiting behaviour subscale, and even lower scores for the social embarrassment subscale. The greatest patient-reported impact of UI symptoms on activities was on exercise, with more than 45% of patients moderately to totally limited in this activity. In most of the countries, more than 60% of the women reported that they were moderately to extremely bothered by their UI symptoms. Conclusions: There was considerable impact of UI on HRQoL in a treatment seeking population, as demonstrated by the disease-specific quality of life scale and by the high percentage of patients who were bothered by their symptoms.


  • B Monz
  • ME Pons
  • C Hampel
  • S Hunskaar
  • D Quail
  • Göran Samsioe
  • D Sykes
  • A Wagg
  • S Papanicolaou
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Medicine
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S24-S34
Issue numberSuppl 2
Publication statusPublished - 2005
Publication categoryResearch