Impact of childhood and recent traumatic events on the clinical presentation of overactive bladder

H. Henry Lai, Clinton D. Morgan, Joel Vetter, Gerald L. Andriole

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Aims: (1) To describe the Prevalence of childhood and recent trauma in patients with overactive bladder (OAB), and (2) assess the impact of traumatic events on the clinical presentation and the severity of OAB symptoms, quality of life, and psychosocial health. Methods: Patients diagnosed with OAB (n = 51) and age-matched healthy controls (n = 30) were administered the Childhood Traumatic Events Scale and Recent Traumatic Events Scale, assessing exposure and perceived impact of common traumatic events. Among OAB patients, validated instruments were administered to correlate traumatic exposure to evaluate adult urinary symptoms (ICIQ-UI, ICIQ-OAB, OAB-q, UDI-6, IIQ-7, USS), mood dysregulation (HADS), sleep and fatigue (PROMIS), and Psychological stress (PSS). Results: Childhood sexual trauma was more prevalent in patients with OAB compared to controls (29.4% vs. 6.7%, P = 0.041). OAB patients also rated their childhood sexual exposure as more traumatic compared to controls (mean ratings of 1.7 vs. 0.4, P = 0.050). There was no difference in childhood deaths (P = 0.24), parental upheaval (P = 0.87), violence (P = 0.099), illness/injury (P = 0.683), or any recent traumatic events between OAB and control subjects. Childhood trauma predicted worse bladder pain (P = 0.005), worse non-urologic pain (P = 0.017), poorer mood (P = 0.001), higher anxiety (P = 0.029), higher physical symptom burden (P < 0.001), and higher psychological stress (P < 0.039). However, childhood trauma did not correlate with the severity of OAB symptoms (urgency, frequency, incontinence). Conclusions: Thirty percent of OAB patients reported childhood sexual trauma. These patients report more pain symptoms, poorer mood, and greater somatic burden. These data highlight the potentiating role of psychosocial stressors from childhood in the adult suffering from OAB. Neurourol. Urodynam. 35:1017–1023, 2016.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1017-1023
Number of pages7
JournalNeurourology and Urodynamics
Issue number8
StatePublished - Nov 1 2016


  • childhood trauma
  • overactive bladder


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