in: Handbook of Disease Burdens and Quality of Life Measures, Preedy V.R.,Watson R.R., Editor, Springer-Verlag , New-York, pp.2745-2757, 2010
Urinary incontinence (UI) is being perceived as a stigmatized condition since ancient times. Not much has changed up to date – although, posing a considerable disease burden and impairing health related quality of life-urinary incontinence (HRQOL- UI) is not perceived as a medical entity by adult females in Turkey, and -due to lack of medical help seeking- probably is underreported. Overall prevalence in Turkey has been reported to be between 16.4 and 68.8%, depending on research setting and methodology. Because HRQOL is a new concept in medical research, there are only few urinary incontinence (UI) studies addressing quality of life (QOL), as well. The studies assessing QOL of individuals with UI are mostly cross-sectional and -except for the recent ones- do not use grade A International Consultation on Incontinence (ICI) recommended instruments. This chapter summarizes the available instruments used for diagnosis, classification and severity grading, as well HRQOL assessment. According to the results of studies on UI and related QOL, the disease burden and bothersomeness created by the condition is impairing QOL and mostly is the determinant for medical help seeking behavior, which is displaying a transcultural trend being in accordance with the world literature. There is a need for a clearinghouse for studies on UI and related QOL to plan and conduct such studies, manage and organize dissemination of evidence, and take action according to health policy needs in that matter.