Goal achievement as a patient-generated outcome measure for stress urinary incontinence

Health Expect. 2009 Sep;12(3):288-300. doi: 10.1111/j.1369-7625.2009.00536.x.


Objectives: To explore women's goals and goal attainment for the conservative and surgical treatment of stress urinary incontinence (SUI), and to examine the feasibility of Goal Attainment Scaling (GAS) as an outcome measure in this population.

Background: Despite the range of treatments for SUI, little is known about the outcomes patients consider important. Current instruments measure the impact of SUI on the ability to live a 'normal' life without addressing what normal looks like for the patient. Patient-generated measures that address what a patient aims to achieve may fill this gap.

Design: A mixed-methods exploratory design combined semi-structured interviews with validated questionnaires and individualized rating of goal achievement. SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS PARTICIPANTS: with SUI (n = 18) were interviewed in their homes prior to initiation of treatment and 3-6 months afterwards.

Main variables: Participants reported individualized goals pre-treatment and rated goal attainment after surgical and conservative therapy. Quality of life impact and change were measured using short forms of the Incontinence Impact Questionnaire and Urinary Distress Inventory.

Results: Women expressed a median of four highly individualized treatment-related goals but goal achievement following conservative treatment was poor. GAS was not feasible as an outcome measure; women readily identified personal goals but could not independently identify graded levels of attainment for each goal.

Conclusions: Although further work is needed to examine the most feasible, valid, and reliable method of measuring goal achievement in research, asking patients with UI to identify pre-treatment goals may provide useful information to guide treatment-related decision making.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Achievement
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Female
  • Goals*
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient-Centered Care
  • Pilot Projects
  • Quality of Life
  • Statistics, Nonparametric
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Urinary Incontinence, Stress / prevention & control*
  • Urinary Incontinence, Stress / psychology*