A new guideline recommends that women of all ages — including adolescents — receive an annual screening for urinary incontinence.
The Women’s Preventive Service Initiative, composed of women’s health organizations and patient advocates, said the screening should determine if a woman suffers from incontinence, and if so, if it impacts their activities and quality of life. The group says 51% off women suffer from incontinence, and 55% of women with the condition don’t report symptoms to their doctors.
The recommendation says that there is no direct evidence on the benefits or harms of screenings as there have been no trials conducted on whether screenings improve symptoms, quality of life and function. An evidence review found insufficient evidence on the effectiveness and harms of the screening.
An editorial published in the Annals of Internal Medicine advised caution on the screening recommendation. “Rather than recommending annual screening for women across the lifespan, we should be advocating a randomized trial to directly assess the benefit and harm of [screening] in women. This trial should be designed to assess the benefit-harm balance for screen at different life stages (from adolescence to old age) and to identify high-risk groups…for whom the benefits of screening might outweigh the risks.”