Background: Overactive bladder (OAB) is common and morbid. Medication and diagnosis claims may be specific, but lack sensitivity to identify patients with overactive bladder. We used an "electronic health record (EHR) phenotype" to identify cases and describe treatment choices and anticholinergic burden for OAB.
Methods: We conducted a retrospective cohort study in a large, integrated health delivery system between July 2011 and June 2012 (2-year follow-up). We examined care from primary care and specialty clinics, medication and procedure use, and anticholinergic burden for each patient.
Results: There were 7362 patients with an EHR OAB phenotype; 50% of patients were > 65 years old, 74% were female, and 83% were white. The distribution of care included primary care physician (PCP)/specialty co-management (25% of patients); PCP care only (18%); urology only (13%); or some other combination of specialty care (33%). Only 40% of patients were prescribed at least 1 OAB medication during the study. The mean duration of prescribed medication was 1.5 months (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.4 to 1.6 months; range, < 1 month to 24 months). Independent predictors of receipt of an OAB medication included increasing age (odds ratio [OR], 1.4 for every 10 years; 95% CI, 1.4 to 1.5), women (OR, 1.6 compared with men; 95% CI, 1.4 to 1.8), diabetes (OR, 1.3; 95% CI, 1.1 to 1.5), and certain sources of care compared with PCP-only care: PCP/specialty co-management (OR, 1.8; 95% CI, 1.5 to 2.0), urology (OR, 2.2; 95% CI, 1.8 to 2.6), and multiple specialists (OR, 1.4; 95% CI, 1.2 to 1.8). Very few patients received other treatments: biofeedback (< 1%), onabotulinumtoxinA (2%), or sacral nerve stimulation (1%). Patients who received OAB medications had significantly higher anticholinergic burden than patients who did not (anticholinergic total standardized daily dose, 125 versus 46; P < .001).
Conclusions: Although OAB is common and morbid, in a longitudinal study using an EHR OAB phenotype 40% of patients were treated with OAB medication and only briefly.
Keywords: Anticholinergic burden; Antimuscarinics; Electronic health records; Integrated delivery system; Medication and procedure use; Overactive bladder; Overactive bladder syndrome; Primary and specialty care; Urgency; Urinary incontinence.