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This paper reports on innovative work aimed at adapting a urinary continence measure for Australian conditions. Following recommendations made by the Continence Outcomes Measurement Suite (COMS) Project (Thomas, et al. 2006), two brief urinary incontinence measures, the Incontinence Severity Index (ISI) and the Urogenital Distress Inventory (UDI-6) were included in a community population survey (N = 3015) to obtain current prevalence estimates for urinary incontinence in Australia.
This large dataset also allowed for the psychometric examination of these instruments and their item properties, e.g. examining item endorsement and discrimination, item-total correlations and Cronbach’s Alpha, as well as the use of Exploratory Factor Analysis (EFA) and Item Response Theory (IRT) approaches. During the course of this analysis it became apparent that these two measures could be improved by combining their best items into a new scale, the Revised Urinary Incontinence Scale (RUIS).
This new instrument has good psychometric properties (including a Cronbach’s Alpha of 0.91) and could be considered by clinicians, researchers and epidemiologists looking for a short, valid and reliable scale of urinary incontinence (as defined by leakage).
However, further research is currently being undertaken to examine their broader applicability in clinical settings (where there would also be a greater number of people with moderate to severe incontinence symptoms). Recent psychometric evidence using a then-test procedure suggests that this new instrument is sensitive to urinary incontinence treatment outcomes.