Understanding the Pursuit of Third-Line Therapies for Overactive Bladder: A Mixed Methods Study.

Overactive bladder (OAB) affects millions of women in the United States, with negative effects in multiple domains that have an impact on quality of life. Third-line therapies for OAB are as effective or superior to lifestyle/behavior modification and medical management, yet few women access these treatments and often spend more than 36 months to reach these treatments after starting medication. Factors associated with time to reach third-line therapy are not well studied, and little is known about how patients progress through care pathways for OAB.

The aim of the study was to determine factors associated with the time spent between second- and third-line therapy for OAB at an academic urogynecology and reconstructive pelvic surgery practice. We sought to identify demographic, treatment, clinical factors, and themes in barriers to receiving treatment for OAB.

This was a mixed methods study consisting of a retrospective cohort study followed by qualitative key informant interviews.

Eighty-five total participants were included in the analysis, and 42 (49.5%) spent more than 36 months between initiation of medical management and initial third-line therapy for OAB. No significant (P > 0.05) demographic, clinical, or treatment differences were found between groups. Facilitators and obstacles to receiving third-line therapy were identified among key informants, and a treatment decision framework was developed.

Women often spend more than 36 months to pursue third-line therapy for OAB. Existing objective variables are poor predictors of pursuit of third-line treatment, and leveraging known facilitators and obstacles can be used to develop improved care pathways for OAB.

Urogynecology (Philadelphia, Pa.). 2023 Dec 07 [Epub]

Javier D Gonzalez, Leigh Martin, Blake Osmundsen, Bharti Garg, W Thomas Gregory, Sara Cichowski

From the Oregon Health and Science University., Legacy Health System, Portland, OR.