Assessing health-related quality of life in urology - A survey of 4500 German urologists

A. Schmick*, M. Juergensen, V. Rohde, A. Katalinic, A. Waldmann

*Corresponding author for this work
1 Citation (Scopus)


Background: Urological diseases and their treatment may negatively influence continence, potency, and health-related quality of life (HRQOL). Although current guidelines recommend HRQOL assessment in clinical urology, specific guidance on how to assess HRQOL is frequently absent. We evaluated whether and how urologists assess HRQOL and how they determine its practicality. Methods: A random sample of 4500 (from 5200 identified German urologists) was drawn and invited to participate in a postal survey (an initial letter followed by one reminder after six weeks). The questionnaire included questions on whether and how HRQOL is assessed, general attitudes towards the concept of HRQOL, and socio-demographics. Due to the exploratory character of the study we produced mainly descriptive statistics. Chi2-tests and logistic regression were used for subgroup-analysis. Results: 1557 urologists (85% male, with a mean age of 49 yrs.) participated. Most of them (87%) considered HRQOL assessment as 'important' in daily work, while only 7% reported not assessing HRQOL. Patients with prostate carcinoma, incontinence, pain, and benign prostate hyperplasia were the main target groups for HRQOL assessment. The primary aim of HRQOL assessment was to support treatment decisions, monitor patients, and produce a 'baseline measurement'. Two-thirds of urologists used questionnaires and interviews to evaluate HRQOL and one-quarter assessed HRQOL by asking: 'How are you?'. The main barriers to HRQOL assessment were anticipated questionnaire costs (77%), extensive questionnaire length (52%), and complex analysis (51%). Conclusions: The majority of German urologists assess HRQOL as part of their clinical routine. However, knowledge of HRQOL assessment, analysis, and interpretation seems to be limited in this group. Therefore, urologists may benefit from a targeted education program. Trial registration: The clinical trial was registered with the code VfD-13-003629 at the German Healthcare Research Registry (

Original languageEnglish
Article number46
JournalBMC Urology
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)46
Publication statusPublished - 19.06.2017

Research Areas and Centers

  • Research Area: Center for Population Medicine and Public Health (ZBV)


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