The aim of this study was to investigate whether receiving a clinical diagnosis of interstitial cystitis (IC) or bladder pain syndrome (BPS) improves patients’ symptoms, health-related quality of life (HRQOL), or ability to cope with their symptoms.
In this cross-sectional study, participants with self-reported IC/BPS completed an online questionnaire recalling their perceived change in symptoms after diagnosis and treatment. The questionnaire included demographic information, overall HRQOL measured on a visual analog scale (VAS), O’Leary-Sant Interstitial Cystitis Problem Index, the Urinary Impact Questionnaire, and questions regarding patient beliefs about diagnosis. HRQOL and symptom impact scales were compared before and after diagnosis and treatment. Demographic data, symptom data, and beliefs were examined for correlation with improvement in quality of life after diagnosis.
A total of 1052 participants initiated the survey and were included in the analysis; most of them identified as female, non-Hispanic, and white (90%). Before symptom onset, median VAS HRQOL score was 87 (interquartile range [IQR], 77–95). Median scores nadired at 34 (IQR, 20–59) after symptom onset before diagnosis, but improved to 61 after diagnosis and treatment (IQR, 38–74; all P < 0.001). Scores remained stable after diagnosis and initiation of treatment with a median score of 65 at the time of survey (IQR, 37–80; P > 0.05). Age, insurance type, and improvement in scores on the symptom impact scale predicted improvement in HRQOL after diagnosis and treatment in the multivariable model.
Participants reported improvements on global and symptom-specific quality of life measures after diagnosis and treatment for IC/BPS.