To determine whether assessment and decision-making around urinary symptoms in people with neurogenic lower urinary tract dysfunction (NLUTD) should depend on bladder management.
Three surveys of urinary symptoms associated with NLUTD (USQNBs) were designed specific to bladder management method for those who manage their bladders with indwelling catheter (IDC), intermittent catheter (IC), or voiding (V). Each was deployed one time to a national sample. Subject matter experts qualitatively assessed the wording of validated items to identify potential duplicates. Clustering by unsupervised structural learning was used to analyze duplicates. Each item was classified into mutually exclusive and exhaustive categories: clinically actionable (“fever”), bladder-specific (“suprapubic pain”), urine quality (“cloudy urine”), or constitutional (“leg pain”).
A core of 10 “NLUTD urinary symptoms” contains three clinically actionable, bladder-specific, and urine quality items plus one constitutional item. There are 9 (IDC), 11 (IC), and 8 (V) items unique to these instruments. One decision-making protocol applies to all instruments.
Ten urinary symptoms in NLUTD are independent of bladder management, whereas a similar number depend on bladder management. We conclude that assessment of urinary symptoms for persons with NLUTD should be specific to bladder management method, like the USQNBs are.