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Development and Validation of a Questionnaire for the Assessment of Pelvic Floor Disorders and Their Risk Factors During Pregnancy and Post PartumArticle in several languages: English | deutsch
received 01 December 2016
revised 29 January 2017
accepted 30 January 2017
26 April 2017 (online)
Introduction The aim of this study was to develop and validate a questionnaire for the assessment of pelvic floor disorders, their symptoms and risk factors in pregnancy and after birth including symptom course, severity and impact on quality of life.
Methods The validated German pelvic floor questionnaire was modified and a new risk factor domain developed. The questionnaire was initially completed by 233 nulliparous women in the third trimester of pregnancy and at six weeks (n = 148) and one year (n = 120) post partum. Full pyschometric testing was performed. The clinical course of symptoms and the influence of risk factors were analysed.
Results Study participants had a median age of 31 (19–46) years. 63 % had spontaneous vaginal deliveries, 15 % operative vaginal deliveries and 22 % were delivered by caesarean section. Content validity: Missing answers never exceeded 4 %. Construct validity: The questionnaire distinguished significantly between women who reported bothersome symptoms and those who did not. Reliability: Cronbachʼs alpha values exceeded 0.7 for bladder, bowel and support function, and 0.65 for sexual function. The test-retest analysis showed moderate to almost complete concordance. The intraclass coefficients for domain scores (between 0.732 and 0.818) were in acceptable to optimal range. Reactivity: The questionnaire was able to track changes significantly with good effect size for each domain. Risk factors for pelvic floor symptoms included familial predisposition, maternal age over 35 years, BMI above 25, nicotine abuse, subjective inability to voluntarily contract the pelvic floor musculature and postpartum wound pain.
Conclusion This pelvic floor questionnaire proved to be valid, reliable and reactive for the assessment of pelvic floor disorders, their risk factors, incidence and impact on quality of life during pregnancy and post partum. The questionnaire can be utilised to assess the course of symptoms and treatment effects using a scoring system.
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