By: 14 September 2012

Impact of overactive bladder on work productivity
Coyne KS, Sexton CC, Thompson CL, Clemens JQ, Chen CI, Bavendam T, Dmochowski R 80: 97-107, 2012

This was a large population-based, cross-sectional survey conducted in the US. Ten thousand men and women aged 18 to 70 were recruited from an Internet-based panel developed from consumer and voter databases. There was an ethnically diverse sample with 20% African American, 20%Hispanic and 60% white.
A validated questionnaire was sent via e-mail to participants. The lower urinary tract symptoms tool was used to assess symptoms over a four-week period. Descriptive statistics and logistic regressions were used for data analysis.
The response rate was 57% representing 5,795 adults. The results showed higher rates of unemployment among those with overactive bladder: men 44% and women 54%. Also the mean percent impairment while working was 19% for men with overactive bladder compared with four percent for men with no/minimal symptoms and 21% for women with overactive bladder against seven percent without symptoms. These findings were higher than a previous study conducted in Canada, United Kingdom, Italy, Sweden and Germany.
Limitations of this study include participant self-report rather than clinician diagnosis of overactive bladder and other conditions. Also study participants may not be representative of the general population and some factors as income level or psychological conditions were not measured in this survey.
The results concluded similar levels of work impairment in patients with overactive bladder to those with chronic conditions as rheumatoid arthritis and asthma. The study highlights the need for further studies to evaluate treatment effects from economic point of view.