Objectives: To determine first whether the American Urological Association Symptom Index (AUASI) correlates with the degree of bother caused by lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) in women and whether the association varies with a woman's age and continent status; and second, whether the AUASI and degree of bother caused by symptoms correlate with a woman's quality of life (QOL) and whether the association varies with a woman's age and continent status. LUTS occur in women and may produce significant bother and affect their QOL. The AUASI has been used to evaluate LUTS in female patients; however, its correlation with the degree of bother and QOL has not been clearly established in women.
Methods: The charts of 1232 women who completed the AUASI, as well as the Symptom Problem Index and global QOL question, were reviewed. Spearman's rank order correlation was computed to assess the correlation between the AUASI and Symptom Problem Index. It was also computed after stratifying the women's age and continence status (continent versus incontinent). A linear regression model was applied, with the AUASI and Symptom Problem Index as the response variables and QOL as the continuous explanatory variable.
Results: The mean age was 54.6 years. Six hundred women (49%) were incontinent. Spearman's rank order showed a strong correlation between symptoms and problems caused by symptoms (0.858, P <0.0001). The correlation existed throughout various age groups and was independent of coexisting incontinence. The symptoms correlated with QOL in a similar pattern.
Conclusions: The AUASI accurately described LUTS in women and, as with men, is a good indicator of the degree of bother and affect on QOL.