Incontinence-specific quality of life measurements used in trials of treatments for female urinary incontinence: a systematic review

S. Ross, D. Soroka, A. Karahalios, C. M. A. Glazener, E. J. C. Hay-Smith, H. P. Durtz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)


This systematic review examined the use of incontinence-specific quality of life (QOL) measures in clinical trials of female incontinence treatments, and systematically evaluated their quality using a standard checklist. Of 61 trials included in the review, 58 (95.1%) used an incontinence-specific QOL measure. The most commonly used were IIQ (19 papers), I-QoL (12 papers) and UDI (9 papers). Eleven papers (18.0%) used measures which were not referenced or were developed specifically for the study. The eight QOL measures identified had good clinical face validity and measurement properties. We advise researchers to evaluate carefully the needs of their specific study, and select the QOL measure that is most appropriate in terms of validity, utility and relevance, and discourage the development of new measures. Until better evidence is available on the validity and comparability of measures, we recommend that researchers consider using IIQ or I-QOL with or without UDI in trials of incontinence treatments.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)272-285
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Urogynecology Journal
Issue number3
Early online date16 Jul 2005
Publication statusPublished - May 2006


  • systematic review
  • incontinence-specific quality of life measures
  • outcome measurement
  • psychometric properties
  • clinical face validity
  • urogenital distress inventory
  • placebo-controlled trial
  • genuine stress-incontinence
  • randomized controlled-trial
  • kings health questionnaire
  • free vaginal tape
  • floor electrical-stimulation
  • tract symptoms questionnaire
  • urethral occlusive device
  • 2-year follow-up


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