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Female incontinence studies seek participants

Posted: Tuesday, June 30, 2009 · Volume: XLII · Issue: 13

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Stephen R. Kraus, M.D., is seeking female participants for two incontinence studies.
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Stephen R. Kraus, M.D., is seeking female participants for two incontinence studies.clear graphic

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Two new studies at the UT Health Science Center San Antonio seek to improve how women suffering from incontinence are evaluated for treatment.

Stephen R. Kraus, M.D., associate professor and vice chair of the Health Science Center’s Department of Urology, is seeking participants for both studies.

‘ValUE’ study focuses on stress incontinence
The first study, called “ValUE,” will examine women with stress incontinence, which is usually characterized by urine leakage during activities such as coughing, sneezing or running. Stress incontinence is often treated with relatively non-invasive surgical procedures, with good results.

Prior to surgery, women commonly undergo an outpatient diagnostic test called urodynamics (UDS), which assesses how the bladder and urethra are storing and releasing urine. “It’s a little bit uncomfortable, but it provides a wealth of data,” Dr. Kraus said.

The urodynamics test is expensive and time consuming. Many doctors do not use the test for this particular type of case because surgical procedures available today are highly effective and not very invasive, Dr. Kraus said. Women participating in the ValUE study will be divided into two groups, with half undergoing urodynamics and the other half going directly to surgery without the test.

“And we’ll see whether urodynamics actually has an impact on success rates after the surgery,” Dr. Kraus said.

The ValUE study is looking for women who are at least 21, have had symptoms of stress incontinence for at least three months and are both ready to seek treatment and willing to consider surgery. The women should not be pregnant and should not intend to get pregnant, as this might have an impact on the effects the surgery.

Participants in the ValUE study will take part in clinic visits, a phone interview and an appropriate surgical procedure. Compensation of up to $125 is available. For more information, call Caren Prather at (210) 567-0548.

‘Bridges’ study will examine urge incontinence
The second study, named “Bridges,” looks at women who have urge incontinence, which is characterized by urine leaks related to a strong urge to empty the bladder. Most cases of urge incontinence are treated non-surgically with medicines or exercises.

If a woman has simple urge incontinence, her primary-care physician can initiate treatment without referring to a specialist. Dr. Kraus and his team helped develop a three-item questionnaire to help primary-care providers determine whether they are dealing with urge or stress incontinence.

The Bridges study will evaluate whether the questionnaire is safe for use in primary-care settings. It also will assess whether using the questionnaire in cases of urge incontinence and administering medications accordingly improves symptoms without harm to patients. Additionally, the nine-month open-label study will examine the drug fesoterodine to determine long-term clinical outcomes and the effect of fesoterodine on sleep quality.

The Bridges study seeks women 18 and older who experience urge incontinence and who do not plan to become pregnant until three months after the study ends. Participants will be screened by phone and make several visits to a clinic over the course of the study. Compensation of up to $400 is available for completing study activities. For more information, call Elvira Eardley at (210) 567-0550.

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