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Health related quality of life significance of single pad urinary incontinence following radical prostatectomy.

  • Author(s): Cooperberg, Matthew R
  • Master, Viraj A
  • Carroll, Peter R
  • et al.


Continence outcomes after radical prostatectomy are frequently reported as the proportion of men using 1 urinary pad or less daily. We postulated that under appreciated health related quality of life (HRQOL) differences may exist between patients requiring 1 pad daily and those who do not require pads.

Materials and methods

A total of 168 patients who underwent radical prostatectomy performed by a single surgeon in a 2-year period were surveyed at a mean of 75 +/- 30 weeks postoperatively using the urinary function and bother scales of the University of California-Los Angeles Prostate Cancer Index (PCI), the American Urological Association symptom index and a question assessing satisfaction. To establish patient groups the levels of the PCI question assessing pad use were redefined to 0, 1, or 2 or greater pads daily. The remaining 4 urinary function questions were used to calculate the summary function score.


Of the patients 146 (86.9%) reported no pad use and 20 (11.9%) used 1 pad daily. The mean function score +/-SD was 81.7 +/- 19.5 and 51.5 +/- 26.5 for the no and 1 pad groups, respectively (p <0.0001). The mean bother score was 86.8 +/- 18.8 and 54.2 +/- 30.0 (p <0.0001). There were sharp differences between the 2 groups for each of the individual PCI questions and for the satisfaction question but no differences in American Urological Association symptom index scores.


We noted significant differences in urinary HRQOL between patients who do not require urinary pads after surgery and those who use a single pad daily across several domains of urinary function and bother. We believe that these findings underscore the need for more comprehensive HRQOL assessment in urinary outcome assessment after prostatectomy.

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