Urologic Diseases Research Updates
Experts Evaluate Current Tools for Measuring Urinary Symptoms
What is the best way to obtain useful information about a patient’s urinary problems? On November 14–15, 2011, the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) hosted the Meeting on Measurement of Urinary Symptoms (MOMUS) to increase discussion on this topic.
Urologists, patients, researchers, industry representatives, and advocacy groups participated in lecture sessions, panel discussions, and breakout groups to exchange ideas and explore new directions for the evaluation of patients’ lower urinary tract dysfunction (LUTD) symptoms.The American Urological Association (AUA) symptom score, which was initially intended for benign prostatic hyperplasia patients, is widely used in clinical practice. In addition, it is often used as an endpoint in clinical trials to assess symptom-based clinical improvement in benign lower urinary tract disease. Using the current AUA symptom score may not only be misleading clinically and correlate weakly with patient satisfaction, but also can be scientifically invalid and impede scientific progress. Therefore, better measurement tools that focus on patient reported outcomes (PRO) are essential to quantify early, late, transient, and persistent symptoms of LUTD both in men and women.
The meeting opened with a session focused on the public health importance of measuring LUTD symptoms. Other topics included sessions on patients’ views of how urinary problems are treated, missing elements in the current measurement of LUTD symptoms, how PROs are measured in other conditions, and how phenotypes impact on measurement.
On the second day, the morning session focused on ways to better understand the symptomatic LUTD patient. Participants then went to breakout groups to discuss
- what is missing in current measurement tools for male LUTD
- what is missing in current measurement tools for female LUTD
- how to validate the new measurement instrument
- how to phenotype the patients with symptomatic LUTD
Robert A. Star, M.D., director of NIDDK’s Division of Kidney, Urologic, and Hematological Diseases, summarized the meeting by observing that participants agreed that current instruments for measuring urinary symptoms do not capture what the patient wants to tell the clinician. Developing new instruments will require breaking down several walls that keep the clinician from fully understanding the patient. “This effort will challenge many of the paradigms that are out there. This is the right time to be doing this,” said Dr. Star.
The summary report of MOMUS can be found at www3.niddk.nih.gov/fund/other/MOMUS.pdf. For more information, read the NIDDK’s Funding Opportunity Announcement for the Symptoms of Lower Urinary Tract Dysfunction Research Network.
NIH Publication No. 12–5743
Page last updated June 11, 2012