AIMS: To evaluate pain and embarrassment associated with invasive urodynamics and to determine underlying factors.
METHODS: One hundred seventy one consecutive patients referred to our department for invasive urodynamics were evaluated using visual numeric rating scales for sensations of apprehension, pain, and embarrassment during several steps of the procedure (scores ranging from 0 [no symptom] to 10 [worst imaginable symptom]). We also investigated the influence of sex, age, information provided before urodynamics, and medical indication on these sensations. The Spearman correlation, non-parametric test, and logistic regression analysis were performed to determine explicative factors for the most painful sensations.
RESULTS: The mean age was 61.0 (standard deviation ± 15 years). The mean (95% confidence interval [CI]) apprehension level was 2.9/10 (2.4; 3.4). The mean (95% CI) pain levels at installation on urodynamic table, transurethral catheter insertion (cystometry), and catheter repositioning (urethral pressure profilometry) were 0.3/10 (0.1; 0.5), 1.9/10 (1.6; 2.3), and 1.3/10 (1.0; 1.7), respectively. At catheter insertion, 25% of patients reported a pain level ≥ 4/10. The mean embarrassment level due to urination in front of the doctor was 1.9/10 (1.4; 2.3). Painful sensations reported during the different steps were strongly correlated with each other and with levels of apprehension and embarrassment. Age <54 years (lower quartile) and apprehension level were the only factors associated with painful sensation.
CONCLUSIONS: Our study confirms that invasive urodynamics is a well-tolerated procedure. However, some patients experience high levels of pain and embarrassment throughout the procedure. Younger age and apprehension were the most influential factors.