Correlation between psychological stress levels and the severity of overactive bladder symptoms

Henry Lai, Vivien Gardner, Joel Vetter, Gerald L. Andriole

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: The relationship between psychological stress and interstitial cystitis/bladder pain syndrome (IC/BPS) has been well described. Even though there is some overlapping of symptoms between overactive bladder (OAB) and IC/BPS, there have been very few studies that specifically investigated the relationship between psychological stress and urinary symptoms in OAB patients who do not have pelvic pain. Here we examined the relationship between psychological stress levels and the severity of overactive bladder (OAB) symptoms. Methods: Patients diagnosed with OAB (n=51), IC/BPS (n=27), and age-matched healthy controls (n=30) participated in a case control study that inquired about their psychological stress levels using the perceived stress scale (PSS). PSS reported by the three patient groups were compared. Among OAB patients, their responses on the PSS was correlated to OAB symptoms using the following questionnaires: 1) international consultation on incontinence - urinary incontinence (ICIQ-UI), 2) international consultation on incontinence - overactive bladder (ICIQ-OAB), 3) OAB-q short form, 4) urogenital distress inventory (UDI-6), 5) incontinence impact questionnaire (IIQ-7), 6) urgency severity scale (USS), 7) numeric rating scales of urgency symptom, and 8) frequency symptom. Spearman's correlation tests were performed to examine the relationship between psychological stress levels and the severity of OAB symptoms. Results: OAB patients reported psychological stress levels that were as high as IC/BPS patients (median 17.0 versus 18.0, p=0.818, Wilcoxon sum rank test), and significantly higher than healthy controls (17.0, versus 7.5, p=0.001). Among OAB patients, there was a positive correlation between perceived stress levels and urinary incontinence symptoms (ICIQ-UI, Spearman's correlation coefficient=0.39, p=0.007), and impacts on quality of life (UDI-6, IIQ-7, OAB-q quality of life subscale; Spearman's correlation coefficient=0.32, 0.31, 0.39, and p=0.028, 0.005, 0.029, respectively). No significant correlation was observed between perceived stress levels and urgency or frequency symptoms (ICIQ-OAB, USS, numeric ratings of urgency and frequency). Conclusions: OAB patients reported psychological stress levels that were as high as IC/BPS patients, and significantly higher than healthy controls. There was a positive correlation between perceived stress levels and urinary incontinence symptoms, and its impacts on quality of life among OAB patients.

Original languageEnglish
Article number14
JournalBMC urology
Volume15
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 12 2015

Keywords

  • Interstitial cystitis
  • Overactive bladder
  • Psychological stress
  • Urgency incontinence
  • Urinary urgency

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