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Review: simple questions and clinical tests are moderately useful for diagnosing urinary incontinence

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J M Holroyd-Leduc

Dr J M Holroyd-Leduc, Foothills Medical Centre, Calgary, Alberta, Canada; jayna.holroyd-leduc@calgaryhealthregion.ca

QUESTION

How accurate are simple clinical procedures and tests for diagnosing urinary incontinence (UI) in adults?

REVIEW SCOPE

Studies selected evaluated clinical diagnosis of stress or urge UI in adults and used a reference standard of diagnosis by an expert (urologist or urogynaecologist) and/or urodynamic studies in all patients. Outcomes were summary positive (+LR) and negative (−LR) likelihood ratios.

REVIEW METHODS

Medline and EMBASE/Excerpta Medica (to Jul 2007), and reference lists were searched for cohort and case–control studies published in English. 40 studies (age range 16–98 y, >99% women) met the selection criteria.

MAIN RESULTS

Simple questions such as “Do you lose urine during sudden physical exertion, lifting, coughing, or sneezing?” and “Do you experience such a strong and sudden urge to void that you leak before …

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