Are the Electronic and Paper Questionnaires Equivalent in Assessing Patients with Overactive Bladder?

Overactive bladder (OAB) syndrome is defined as urinary urgency, usually accompanied by frequency and nocturia, with or without urgency urinary incontinence, in the absence of urinary tract infection (UTI) or other obvious pathology. Electronic questionnaires (eQs) have been used in few specialties with hopes of improving treatment outcomes and patient satisfaction. However, they have not been widely utilized in the urological field. In treating OAB the main outcome is to improve patient's quality of life. The primary objective is to evaluate whether eQ is equally accepted or preferred to paper questionnaire (pQ). The secondary objective is to look at preference in relation to age, education, and iPad familiarity.

We performed a prospective evaluation of Laborie's iList® electronic questionnaire application, to patients presenting to UC Irvine's Urology clinic with OAB using friendly iPad tablet. Eighty patients were recruited; each patient randomly filled validated OABSS and PPBC questionnaires in paper and electronic format on iPad. Variables potentially associated with the outcomes of interest included demographic data, questionnaire method preference, patient response rate, and iPad use familiarity. We used a two-sided Z-test to determine whether the proportion of patients who considered iPad to be the same, better, or much better than paper was significantly greater than 50%. A two-sided chi-square test is used to assess whether the intervention effect was significantly different among the demographic subgroups.

From November 2015 to August 2016, 80 patients were enrolled, ages 21-87. 53% were female, 49% were 65 years or younger. Those who considered iPad to be the same or better than paper was 82.5% (95% CI: 74.2-90.8, p<0.001). The percentage of patients who considered iPad to be the same or better than paper ranged from 76% to 97% regardless of age, gender, and education subgroups, as well as among those with any familiarity with iPad (all p < 0.001). Among those with no iPad familiarity (N=20), 45% preferred the electronic questionnaire (p = 0.654).

We found that the proportion of patients who consider electronic questionnaires to be equivalent or better to paper versions is higher than those who prefer paper questionnaires, regardless of age, gender, or education level.

The Journal of urology. 2018 Mar 29 [Epub ahead of print]

Cristina Palmer, Bilal Farhan, Nobel Nguyen, Lishi Zhang, Rebecca Do, Danh V Nguyen, Gamal Ghoniem

University of California Irvine, CA., University of California Irvine, CA. Electronic address: .