Impact of urinary incontinence and overactive bladder on quality of life

Francesca Chiaffarino, Fabio Parazzini, Maurizio Lavezzari, Vincenzo Giambanco

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To assess the quality of life (QOL) of women with urinary incontinence (UI) or overactive bladder (OB) compared with women without UI. Methods: A case-control study conducted in Italy on risk factors for UI and OB. Information on QOL were collected using the SF-12 questionnaire, validated for Italian women. Results: A total of 1062 cases (258 had stress, 195 urge, 486 mixed UI and 123 OB without incontinence) and 1143 controls were interviewed. QOL, as assessed by the SF-12, was significantly impaired in cases compared with controls (p = 0.0001); the mean SF-12 physical health score was 48.3 for controls, but 45.6, 42.0, 44.5 and 40.0 for cases with OB, urge, stress and mixed incontinence, respectively. Women with OB had significantly higher physical health scores than women with urge and mixed UI (p <0.005) (44.6 versus 41.7 and 41.3). Physical and mental health dimensions of cases significantly decreased with increasing severity of symptoms. Conclusions: QOL was significantly impaired in women with UI or OB compared to controls. Physical and mental functioning tended to be more impaired in patients than in controls.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)535-538
Number of pages4
JournalEuropean Urology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 1 2003


  • Overactive bladder
  • Quality of life
  • Urinary incontinence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology


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