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Urinary Incontinence (UI) is an involuntary loss of urine bringing a social and hygiene problem to the patients. Recently, the standardization committee of the International Continence Society (ICS) removed the last part of this phrase because it considered it inadequate to be able to define the symptom. So, according to the new standardization (2002) urinary incontinence was defined as any involuntary urinary loss. In literature quality of life of a person is defined with her satisfaction in her social, psychological and physical ambit 1,2. The ICS committee considers that the life style should be defined as a separate matter and not in the UI definition.
The prevalence of urinary incontinence in the general population of the USA is approximately of 6%; this rate varies in accordance to age and sex. The age between 15 and 64, urinary incontinence occurs in 1.5 to 5% in men and 10 to 25% in women. It is estimated that direct costs of urinary incontinence are approximately 10 billion dollars a year. This estimate was based on the prevalence of 9% for the elderly (people over 65 years old), 2% for women between 25 to 64 years old and 50% for the elderly that are institutionalized. Besides this, urinary incontinence is the main reason to place the elderly in institutions in the USA 1,3,4.
From this data, associated to the fact that urinary incontinence is not a mortality cause but morbidity one, we noticed the importance of making a quality of life evaluation of the patients with urinary incontinence5. Besides this, in clinical practice we know that evaluation, even though it is very adequate for etiological diagnosis of UI, it is not useful for the intensity evaluation and does not give us the dimension of the problem in the life of each patient. This way, the vision of life quality and the proposed questionnaires trying to measure it objectively are of great importance in the day by day of the professionals that are connected to urogynecology.
Literature suggests that urinary incontinence is very anguishing and incapacitating, this impact is dependent on the age of the patient and the type of urinary incontinence1,2.
In relation to age, we notice a better fitness and adaptation with urinary incontinence in the elderly. In relation to the type of urinary incontinence, Lenderking e cols. relate that patients with complaints of urge-incontinence have a bigger impact in life quality than the patients with stress urinary incontinence complaints, and that urinary incontinence affects the social and psychological function more than the physical function of the patient1.
Our objective is to evaluate the impact in the life quality of the patients with complaints of urinary incontinence through a questionnaire which is already validated in English and translated to Portuguese.