A Survey of Primary Care Physician Practices in the Diagnosis and Management of Women with Interstitial Cystitis/Painful Bladder Syndrome

Published in: Urology, v. 76, no. 2, Aug. 2010, p. 323-328

Posted on RAND.org on January 01, 2010

by J. Quentin Clemens, Elizabeth A. Calhoun, Mark Litwin, Elizabeth Walker-Corkery, Talar Markossian, John W. Kusek, Mary McNaughton-Collins

Read More

Access further information on this document at www.sciencedirect.com

This article was published outside of RAND. The full text of the article can be found at the link above.

Objectives: To describe the practice patterns among primary care physicians' (PCPs) managing patients with symptoms suggestive of interstitial cystitis/painful bladder syndrome (IC/PBS). Methods: We developed a clinical vignette describing a woman with typical IC/PBS symptoms to elicit questions about etiology, management strategies, and familiarity with this syndrome. We mailed the questionnaire to 556 PCPs, including academicians and community physicians, in Boston, Los Angeles, and Chicago. Results: We received 290 completed questionnaires (response rate, 52%). Nineteen percent of respondents reported they had "never" seen a patient like the one described in the vignette. Two-thirds of respondents correctly identified the hallmark symptom of IC/PBS (bladder pain/pressure). Regarding etiology, 90% correctly indicated that IC/PBS was a noninfectious disease, 76% correctly reported that it was not caused by a sexually transmitted infection, and 61% correctly indicated that it was not caused by a psychiatric illness. Common treatments included antibiotics and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agents. Referrals were often made to a specialist. Conclusions: Although most PCPs indicate familiarity with IC/PBS, they manage the condition infrequently. They also appear to have significant knowledge deficits about the clinical characteristics of IC/PBS, and they indicate variable practice patterns in the diagnosis and treatment of the condition. Educational efforts directed at PCPs will likely improve the care of patients with IC/PBS.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation External publication series. Many RAND studies are published in peer-reviewed scholarly journals, as chapters in commercial books, or as documents published by other organizations.

Our mission to help improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis is enabled through our core values of quality and objectivity and our unwavering commitment to the highest level of integrity and ethical behavior. To help ensure our research and analysis are rigorous, objective, and nonpartisan, we subject our research publications to a robust and exacting quality-assurance process; avoid both the appearance and reality of financial and other conflicts of interest through staff training, project screening, and a policy of mandatory disclosure; and pursue transparency in our research engagements through our commitment to the open publication of our research findings and recommendations, disclosure of the source of funding of published research, and policies to ensure intellectual independence. For more information, visit www.rand.org/about/research-integrity.

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.