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Published Online: 17 August 2022

Perinatal Incontinence Assessment Tools: A Psychometric Evaluation and Scoping Review

Publication: Journal of Women's Health
Volume 31, Issue Number 8


Background: Approximately 40% of women report incontinence during pregnancy and postpartum (known as the perinatal period). Due to the lack of an established measurement standard, this scoping review aimed to investigate the psychometric properties of tools, which assess incontinence-related symptoms and quality of life (QOL) during this period.
Materials and Methods: Articles in English, which assessed psychometric properties of tools for perinatal incontinence-related symptoms or QOL, were included and evaluated by a 16-item checklist. Nine databases were searched from 2000 to 2020.
Results: Four studies met the inclusion criteria, and five assessment tools were identified and included in this review. The modified Pelvic Floor Questionnaire (mPFQ), Leakage Index (LI), and International Consultation on Incontinence Questionnaire–Urinary Incontinence Short Form (ICIQ-UI SF) demonstrated internal consistency (Cronbach's α > 0.60, >0.70, and mean inter-item correlations >0.39, respectively). The mPFQ demonstrated moderate test–retest reliability (intraclass correlation coefficient >0.60). Construct validity of the ICIQ-UI SF was established by significant (p < 0.05) differences across age and obesity, whereas the mPFQ demonstrated significant (p < 0.001) discriminant validity in symptoms prepartum and postpartum. Convergent validity of telephone-administered Pelvic Floor Distress Inventory (PFDI-20) and Pelvic Floor Impact Questionnaire (PFIQ-7) was established with the written version (p > 0.05, correlation coefficient >0.90). Responsiveness to change was described for the ICIQ-UI SF and mPFQ.
Conclusions: The mPFQ and ICIQ-UI SF demonstrated acceptable reliability, validity, and responsiveness to change, therefore suggesting good clinical utility. Since most studies included primiparous women, future research in heterogeneous samples of women with perinatal incontinence may be needed.

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Published In

cover image Journal of Women's Health
Journal of Women's Health
Volume 31Issue Number 8August 2022
Pages: 1208 - 1218
PubMed: 35230163


Published online: 17 August 2022
Published in print: August 2022
Published ahead of print: 25 February 2022


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Emily Gard
Department of Physical Therapy, Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions, Provo, Utah, USA.
Alyssa Lyman
Department of Physical Therapy, Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions, Provo, Utah, USA.
Department of Physical Therapy, Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions, Provo, Utah, USA.


Address correspondence to: Hina Garg, PT, MS, PhD, NCS, CEEAA, Department of Physical Therapy, Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions, 122 East 1700 South Building 3, Provo 84606, UT, USA [email protected]

Authors' Contributions

H.G. conceived of the presented idea. E.G. conducted initial searches. H.G. and A.L. confirmed search results. E.G. conducted additional searches to ensure all tools were discovered. A.L. conducted alternate searches to compile psychometric properties of selected tools for the general population. All authors completed quality assessment checklists, participated in group discussions and evaluations, and contributed to the final article.

Author Disclosure Statement

No competing financial interests exist.

Funding Information

No funding was received for this article.

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