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Wexner score and quality of life in women with obstetric anal sphincter injury

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  4. Changing incidence of obstetric anal sphincter injuries - a result of formal prevention programs?

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INTRODUCTION AND HYPOTHESIS: Obstetric anal sphincter injury causes anal incontinence in half of the women affected. However, most symptoms are mild. The objective of this study was to evaluate the prevalence of anal incontinence and quality of life in women at long term after delivery with obstetric anal sphincter injury. We also wanted to identify a relevant cutoff level of the Wexner score (also known as the Cleveland Clinic Incontinence Score) to indicate affected quality of life in these women.

METHODS: We performed a population-based questionnaire cohort study with prospective follow-up, including all women in Denmark with obstetric anal sphincter injury and one subsequent delivery between 1997 and 2005. We performed uni- and multivariate analyses and calculated the area under the ROC curve.

RESULTS: In Denmark, 3885 women had an obstetric anal sphincter injury in their first delivery and a second delivery between 1997 and 2005 and no subsequent deliveries until 2010-2011. Questionnaires were sent to 3259 eligible women, and the response rate was 74.6%. In total, 2004 women could be included in the final analyses. Of these, 29.2% (n = 584) reported affected quality of life due to anal incontinence at long-term follow-up. We found that all symptoms of anal incontinence were associated with affected quality of life. The median age at follow-up was 40.3 years. The area under the ROC curve was 0.96 (95% CI 0.95-0.97) with a sensitivity of 0.94 (95% CI 0.92-0.96) and a specificity of 0.85 (95% CI 0.84-0.87) corresponding to an optimal cutoff level of the Wexner score of ≥ 2 to identify women with affected quality of life due to anal incontinence.

CONCLUSIONS: In women with obstetric anal sphincter injury, 29% reported affected quality of life due to anal incontinence at long-term follow-up, and we found a low Wexner score cutoff level of ≥ 2 to identify women with affected quality of life.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Urogynecology Journal
Volume31
Issue number6
Pages (from-to)1115-1121
Number of pages7
ISSN0937-3462
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2020

    Research areas

  • Cleveland Clinic Incontinence Score, Fecal incontinence, Obstetric anal sphincter injury, Quality of life, Questionnaire, Wexner score

ID: 60979512