Predictors of low urinary quality of life in spinal cord injury patients on clean intermittent catheterization

for the Neurogenic Bladder Research Group

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Objective: Clean intermittent catheterization (CIC) is a preferred method of bladder management for many patients with spinal cord injury (SCI), but long-term adherence is low. The aim of this study is to identify factors associated with low urinary quality of life (QoL) in SCI adults performing CIC. Methods: Over 1.5 years, 1479 adults with SCI were prospectively enrolled through the Neurogenic Bladder Research Group registry, and 753 on CIC with no prior surgeries were included. Injury characteristics, complications, hand function, and Neurogenic Bladder Symptom Score (NBSS) were analyzed. The NBSS QoL question (overall satisfaction with urinary function) was dichotomized to generate comparative groups (dissatisfied vs neutral/satisfied). Results: The cohort was 32.9% female with a median age of 43.2 (18-86) years, time since the injury of 9.8 (0-48.2) years, and 69.0% had an injury at T1 or below. Overall 36.1% were dissatisfied with urinary QoL. On multivariable analysis, female gender (odds ratio [OR], 1.63; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.15-2.31; P = 0.016), earlier injury (OR, 0.95 per year; 95% CI, 0.93-0.97; P < 0.001), ≥4 urinary tract infections (UTIs) per year (OR, 2.36; 95% CI, 1.47-3.81; P = 0.001), and severe bowel dysfunction (OR, 1.42; 95% CI, 1.02-1.98; P = 0.035) predicted dissatisfaction. Level of injury, fine motor hand function, and caregiver dependence for CIC were not associated with dissatisfaction. Conclusions: In a mature SCI cohort, physical disability does not predict dissatisfaction with urinary QoL but severe bowel dysfunction and recurrent UTIs have a significant negative impact. With time the rates of dissatisfaction decline but women continue to be highly dissatisfied on CIC and may benefit from early intervention to minimize the burden of CIC on urinary QoL.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1332-1338
Number of pages7
JournalNeurourology and Urodynamics
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jun 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.


  • clean intermittent catheterization
  • neurogenic bladder
  • patient-reported outcomes
  • spinal cord injury

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