The dysfunctional voiding scoring system: quantitative standardization of dysfunctional voiding symptoms in children

J Urol. 2000 Sep;164(3 Pt 2):1011-5. doi: 10.1097/00005392-200009020-00023.


Purpose: Academic research on pediatric nonneurogenic voiding dysfunction has long been hampered by the lack of a standardized reporting system for voiding symptoms. We evaluated the performance of a newly devised, objective instrument to quantify or grade the severity of abnormal voiding behaviors of children.

Materials and methods: There were 10 voiding dysfunction parameters that were assigned scores of 0 to 3 according to prevalence, and possible total scores ranged from 0 to 30. The Dysfunctional Voiding Symptom Score was completed by 2 groups of patients. Group 1 consisted of patients 3 to 10 years old presenting to the pediatric urology clinic with a history of diurnal urinary incontinence, urinary tract infections or abnormal voiding habits. Group 2 consisted of an age matched cohort with no history of urological complaints presenting to hospital clinics outside of urology. Patients diagnosed with organic or anatomical disease, such as posterior urethral valves or meningomyelocele, were excluded from our analysis.

Results: Group 1 consisted of 104 patients (female-to-male ratio 4:1) with a median symptom score of 14 and group 2 consisted of 54 patients (female-to-male ratio 1.3:1) with a median score of 4. The dysfunctional voiding odds ratio was 2.93 for females compared to that of males. Using receiver operating characteristics the optimum cutoff score was 6.026 (sensitivity 92.77% and specificity 87.09%) for females and 9.02 (sensitivity of 80.95% and specificity of 91. 30%) for males. In addition, we found certain questions to be more reflective than others of dysfunctional voiding symptoms in our population.

Conclusions: The Dysfunctional Voiding Symptom Score appears to provide accurate and objective, that is, numerical, grading of voiding behaviors of children. Comparative research studies of dysfunctional voiding diagnosis and response to therapy as well as objective measurements of treatment efficacy and outcomes analysis should be aided greatly by this system.

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • ROC Curve
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Urination Disorders / diagnosis*