Patient-reported outcome measures which assess body image in urogynaecology patients: a systematic review

Int Urogynecol J. 2019 May;30(5):673-681. doi: 10.1007/s00192-019-03924-x. Epub 2019 Mar 29.


Aim: Urogynaecological conditions can have a significant impact on body image. Patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs) are widely used in urogynaecology to assess symptoms and their impact on quality of life. This systematic review aimed to identify currently available PROMs used to assess body image within a urogynaecological population and to identify the most psychometrically robust and appropriate PROM tools to use in this context.

Methods: Ovid Medline, AMED, CINAHL, Cochrane Collaboration, EMBASE and Web of Science databases were searched from January 1966 to November 2018 to identify studies that had administered a PROM to assess body image to patients diagnosed with a urogynaecological condition. The information extracted and critically appraised included study setting, PROM instrument used and the reported psychometric properties of the PROM.

Results: Seventeen studies were included from 3207 screened articles. Seven different PROMs used to assess body image in a urogynaecological population were identified. Two of these PROMs (Genital Self-Image Scale-20 and Body Image in Pelvic Organ Prolapse questionnaire) had good psychometric evidence for use, but this was only in the context of women with prolapse. Evidence for validity and reliability was limited for the other five PROMs identified.

Conclusion: Further development and psychometric testing of PROMs to assess body image in urogynaecology, for both research purposes and clinical practice, are required. Further research is also required to investigate the relationship between body image and urogynaecological symptomatology, and developing valid, reliable and functional PROMs will be integral to this.

Keywords: Body image; Patient report outcome measures; Surveys and questionnaires.

Publication types

  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Body Image / psychology*
  • Female
  • Gynecology / methods
  • Humans
  • Patient Reported Outcome Measures*
  • Quality of Life / psychology*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Urology / methods