Are Electronic and Paper Questionnaires Equivalent to Assess Patients with Overactive Bladder?

Cristina Palmer, Bilal Farhan, Nobel Nguyen, Lishi Zhang, Rebecca Do, Danh V. Nguyen, Gamal Ghoniem

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Purpose: Overactive bladder syndrome is defined as urinary urgency, usually accompanied by frequency and nocturia, with or without urgency urinary incontinence in the absence of urinary tract infection or another obvious pathological condition. Electronic questionnaires have been used in a few specialties with the hope of improving treatment outcomes and patient satisfaction. However, they have not been widely used in the urological field. When treating overactive bladder, the main outcome is to improve patient quality of life. The primary objective of this study was to evaluate whether electronic questionnaires would be equally accepted as or preferred to paper questionnaires. The secondary objective was to look at the preference in relation to patient age, education and iPad® tablet familiarity. Materials and Methods: We prospectively evaluated the iList® electronic questionnaire application using a friendly iPad tablet in patients with overactive bladder who presented to the urology clinic at our institution. Each of the 80 patients who were recruited randomly completed the validated OABSS (Overactive Bladder Symptom Score) and the PPBC (Patient Perception of Bladder Condition) questionnaires in paper and electronic format on the tablet. Variables potentially associated with the outcomes of interest included demographic data, questionnaire method preference, patient response rate and iPad familiarity. We used the 2-sided Z-test to determine whether the proportion of patients who considered the tablet to be the same, better or much better than paper was significantly greater than 50%. The 2-sided chi-square test was applied to assess whether the intervention effect significantly differed among the demographic subgroups. Results: A total of 80 patients 21 to 87 years old were enrolled in the study from November 2015 to August 2016. Of the patients 53% were female and 49% were 65 years or younger. The incidence of those who considered the tablet to be the same or better than paper was 82.5% (95% CI 74.2–90.8, p <0.001). The incidence of patients who considered the tablet to be the same or better than paper ranged from 76% to 97% regardless of age, gender and education subgroup as well as in those with any familiarity with the tablet (each p <0.001). Of the 20 patients who were not familiar with the tablet 45% preferred the electronic questionnaire (p = 0.654). Conclusions: We found that the proportion of patients who considered electronic questionnaires to be equivalent to or better than paper versions was higher than those who preferred paper questionnaires regardless of age, gender or education level.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)369-374
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Urology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • microcomputers
  • overactive
  • paper
  • patient preference
  • surveys and questionnaires
  • urinary bladder

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology


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