Assessment of pediatric bowel and bladder dysfunction: a critical appraisal of the literature

Bowel and bladder dysfunction (BBD) is a clinical syndrome defined by the coexistence of constipation and lower urinary tract symptoms. Although BBD is a common condition in pediatric urology and can cause significant stress to patients/parents, clinical diagnosis of BBD has not been standardized. Bowel and bladder dysfunction instruments have gained popularity over the past decade to aid in diagnosis. In this review, the currently published BBD symptom questionnaires were summarized and an analysis on their psychometric validation process was provided.

PubMed was searched for articles on BBD symptom questionnaires/instruments/surveys since 2000. Two investigators (R.Y.J. & M.S.K.) conducted the search in duplicate. The search was limited to English language. The included search terms were 'dysfunctional elimination syndrome', 'bowel and bladder dysfunction', 'dysfunctional voiding', 'voiding dysfunction symptom score', and 'dysfunctional voiding symptom scale'. Reference lists of included studies were screened for missed studies. Unpublished abstracts presented at the following scientific meetings were also manually searched for: the American Urological Association, the Society for Pediatric Urology, and the American Academy of Pediatrics Section on Urology. Exclusion criteria included articles in languages other than English, articles not related to BBD questionnaires, and articles not pertaining to pediatric patients.

After initial search, a total of 54 articles were obtained. Of the seven questionnaires reviewed, only one did not measure sensitivity or specificity. Almost all questionnaires showed excellent discriminative property with an Area under the curve (AUC) >0.85. Criterion validity was not reported in any of the questionnaires. Known-group validation was used as a common method to evaluate construct validity. Internal consistency was reported in 2 studies, and only 1 study measured questionnaire responsiveness during initial validation.

Although BBD is a common pediatric urology condition; a large amount of heterogeneity exists in the questionnaires' psychometric testing and validation process. To further improve the diagnosis and management of BBD in pediatric patients, there is a need for consensus on the gold standard questionnaire measure.

Journal of pediatric urology. 2018 Aug 28 [Epub ahead of print]

R Jiang, M S Kelly, J C Routh

Division of Urologic Surgery, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC, USA., Division of Urologic Surgery, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC, USA. Electronic address: .

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