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Study protocol: patient reported outcomes for bladder management strategies in spinal cord injury. – UroToday

The majority of spinal cord injury (SCI) patients have urinary issues, such as incontinence, retention, and frequency. These problems place a significant burden on patients’ physical health and quality of life (QoL). There are a wide variety of bladder management strategies available to patients with no clear guidelines on appropriate selection. Inappropriate bladder management can cause hospitalizations and serious complications, such as urosepsis and renal failure. Patients believe that both independence and ability to carry out daily activities are just as important as physical health in selecting the right bladder-management strategy but little is known about patient’s QoL with different bladder managements. Our study’s aim is to assess patient reported QoL measures with various bladder managements after SCI. This manuscript describes the approach, study design and common data elements for our central study.

This is a multi-institutional prospective cohort study comparing three different bladder-management strategies (clean intermittent catheterization, indwelling catheters, and surgery). Information collected from participants includes demographics, past medical and surgical history, injury characteristics, current and past bladder management, and SCI /bladder-related complications. Patient reported outcomes and QoL questionnaires were administered at enrollment and every 3 months for 1 year. Aims of this study protocol are: (1) to assess baseline QoL differences between the three different bladder-management strategies; (2) determine QoL impact when those using either form of catheter management undergo a surgery over the 1 year of follow-up among patients eligible for surgery; (3) assess the effects of changes in bladder management and complications on QoL over a 1-year longitudinal follow-up.

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