Persistence in Percutaneous Tibial Nerve Stimulation Treatment for Overactive Bladder Syndrome is Best Predicted by Patient Global Impression of Improvement Rather Than Symptom-Specific Improvement

Published:December 21, 2020DOI:


      To evaluate whether progression to maintenance percutaneous tibial nerve stimulation (PTNS) was related to perceived global impression of improvement (PGII) rather than symptom-specific improvement in patient with overactive bladder (OAB). We hypothesize that PGII will predict continuation of PTNS long-term.


      This prospective observational study included 90 patients with OAB that initiated PTNS. The PGII and OAB short-form questionnaires (OABq-SF) were used to assess bladder symptom severity and improvement. Those that completed the 12-week induction phase were offered to continue PTNS monthly maintenance or pursue other options. The primary outcome was difference in PGII score between those pursuing maintenance therapy versus other options. Descriptive statistics and mixed effect modeling analysis were employed.


      Seventy patients (78%) completed 12 weeks of PTNS. The majority of completers pursued monthly maintenance (P< .01) and had significantly lower median PGII scores compared with those who sought alternatives (P < .01), while OABq-SF scores did not differ significantly (P = .65). Patients that pursued monthly PTNS maintenance had lower body mass index than those who chose alternative therapies (P < .01). Only 19% continued PTNS therapy for at least 1 year.


      More patients pursued PTNS monthly maintenance over any other therapy, and this was significantly associated with lower PGII scores. Global improvement, and not symptom-specific response, predicts long-term PTNS maintenance. No symptom-specific predictors were identified in those who pursued maintenance over other options. One-year continuation rates are low.
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