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Development and validation of a short, easy-to-use questionnaire for diagnosing urinary incontinence and lower urinary tract symptoms in women: the Female Urinary Symptom Score

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  04 July 2007

Ann Wagg
University of Hertfordshire, Dr M O Wallis & Partners, Stevenage, UK
Duncan Barron
HertNet/CRIPACC, University of Hertfordshire, Hatfield, UK
Mike Kirby
Hertfordshire Primary Care Research Network Consortium (HertNet), The Nevells Road Surgery, Letchworth, UK
Kate Corlett
Hanscombe House Surgery, Hertford, UK
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We have developed the Female Urinary Symptom Score (FUSS), a symptom questionnaire for the evaluation of urinary incontinence and lower urinary tract symptoms in women and their effect on quality of life. The FUSS is a modified version of the International Prostate Symptom Score adapted for use in women. It consists of a simple questionnaire of only eight questions, which patients can answer quickly on a numerical scale. We performed a validation study of the FUSS by comparing it with the King’s Health Questionnaire (KHQ), a well-validated but longer symptom questionnaire. We sent both questionnaires to 220 women between the ages of 45 and 65 years randomly selected from two general practices in the United Kingdom. Urinary symptom status was unknown; 149 (94%) of the FUSS questionnaires and 115 (73%) of the KHQs were completed correctly. Correlation was conducted on the scores of the 115 matched pairs and was high (r = 0.83). We sent another copy of the FUSS questionnaire to the same group of women after four weeks, and found that the test and re-test scores for FUSS were highly correlated (r = 0.88). We conclude that the FUSS is a simple, reliable and reproducible tool for the diagnosis of urinary symptoms in women. As it is brief, we believe that it will be useful in the primary care setting, enabling women to receive appropriate treatment and care as early as possible.

Research Article
2007 Cambridge University Press