The development and evaluation of an incontinence screening questionnaire for female primary care

Wendy Gunthorpe*, Wendy Brown, Sally Redman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

34 Citations (Scopus)


Although there is a high prevalence of leaking urine among Australian women, there are currently no standardized procedures for screening patients for incontinence in the primary care setting (known in Australia as general practice). In response to this, an incontinence screening questionnaire (ISQ) was developed and evaluated for use in general practice. Eighty-nine women completed an original compilation of 33 items that asked about situations associated with leaking urine, avoidance of leakage, and concern about leakage. Each item was assessed according to its acceptability for the population of female general practice patients, discriminative value, and test-retest reliability. These patients also underwent an objective test of incontinence, the 48-hour pad test, so that the screening items could be validated against an objective classification of incontinence. The study included women who had bladder control problems and those who did not. Eight items on the ISQ were shown to be acceptable to patients, discriminative, reliable, and valid indicators of objective incontinence. Five items were capable of predicting almost 70% of patients who showed objective leakage of urine and misclassified fewer than 15% of these patients. Those five items were selected for inclusion in the (refined) ISQ. (C) 2000 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)595-607
Number of pages13
JournalNeurourology and Urodynamics
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes


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