This systematic review examined the use of incontinence-specific quality of life (QOL) measures in clinical trials of female incontinence treatments, and systematically evaluated their quality using a standard checklist. Of 61 trials included in the review, 58 (95.1%) used an incontinence-specific QOL measure. The most commonly used were IIQ (19 papers), I-QoL (12 papers) and UDI (9 papers). Eleven papers (18.0%) used measures which were not referenced or were developed specifically for the study. The eight QOL measures identified had good clinical face validity and measurement properties. We advise researchers to evaluate carefully the needs of their specific study, and select the QOL measure that is most appropriate in terms of validity, utility and relevance, and discourage the development of new measures. Until better evidence is available on the validity and comparability of measures, we recommend that researchers consider using IIQ or I-QOL with or without UDI in trials of incontinence treatments.
- Clinical face validity
- Incontinence-specific quality of life measures
- Outcome measurement
- Psychometric properties
- Systematic review