Dongjuan Xu and Meng Zhao contributed equally to this work.
This study aimed to investigate the relationships among overactive bladder (OAB) symptom severity, bother, help-seeking behavior, and quality of life (QOL) in patients with type 2 diabetes.
A total of 127 diabetic patients, aged at least 18 years, with overactive bladder from a hospital in Shandong Province, China, were recruited for this study. Symptom severity, bother, and quality of life were assessed using the Overactive Bladder Symptom Score (OABSS), Patient Perception of Bladder Condition (PPBC), and Overactive Bladder Questionnaire Short Form (OAB-q SF), respectively. Help-seeking behavior was assessed by asking patients whether they consulted health care professionals or received treatment for their bladder problems. A two-step path analysis was performed to analyze the data.
OAB symptom severity was directly associated with lower levels of QOL, and the strength of this association was no longer significant when taking bother and help-seeking behavior into account. Bother increased with OAB symptom severity, and patients with bothersome OAB tended to have lower levels of QOL. Moreover, bother increased help-seeking behavior; however, patients who sought help tended to have lower levels of QOL.
Our findings highlight the role of bother and help-seeking behavior in the relationship between OAB symptom severity and QOL. To improve a patient’s QOL, health care providers should focus not only on symptom bother but also on dysfunctional help-seeking patterns.