Development, Validation and Testing of an Epidemiological Case Definition of Interstitial Cystitis/Painful Bladder Syndrome

Published In: The Journal of Urology, v. 183, no. 5, May 2010, p. 1848-1852

Posted on RAND.org on January 01, 2010

by Sandra H. Berry, Laura M. Bogart, Chau Pham, Karin Liu, Leroy M. Nyberg, Michael A. Stoto, Marika Booth, J. Quentin Clemens

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PURPOSE: No standard case definition exists for interstitial cystitis/painful bladder syndrome for patient screening or epidemiological studies. As part of the RAND Interstitial Cystitis Epidemiology study, we developed a case definition for interstitial cystitis/painful bladder syndrome with known sensitivity and specificity. We compared this definition with others used in interstitial cystitis/painful bladder syndrome epidemiological studies. MATERIALS AND METHODS: We reviewed the literature and performed a structured, expert panel process to arrive at an interstitial cystitis/painful bladder syndrome case definition. We developed a questionnaire to assess interstitial cystitis/painful bladder syndrome symptoms using this case definition and others used in the literature. We administered the questionnaire to 599 women with interstitial cystitis/painful bladder syndrome, overactive bladder, endometriosis or vulvodynia. The sensitivity and specificity of each definition was calculated using physician assigned diagnoses as the reference standard. RESULTS: No single epidemiological definition had high sensitivity and high specificity. Thus, 2 definitions were developed. One had high sensitivity (81%) and low specificity (54%), and the other had the converse (48% sensitivity and 83% specificity). These values were comparable or superior to those of other epidemiological definitions used in interstitial cystitis/painful bladder syndrome prevalence studies. CONCLUSIONS: No single case definition of interstitial cystitis/painful bladder syndrome provides high sensitivity and high specificity to identify the condition. For prevalence studies of interstitial cystitis/painful bladder syndrome the best approach may be to use 2 definitions that would yield a prevalence range. The RAND Interstitial Cystitis Epidemiology interstitial cystitis/painful bladder syndrome case definitions, developed through structured consensus and validation, can be used for this purpose.

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