Assessing UK specialists' knowledge of the diagnostic criteria for painful bladder syndrome/interstitial cystitis

Fiona Marsh, Mary A. E. Garthwaite, Jennifer Southgate, Carmel Ramage

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The aim of this study was to assess UK clinicians' knowledge of the National Institute of Diabetes, Digestive and Kidney diseases (NIDDK) criteria for painful bladder syndrome (PBS)/interstitial cystitis (IC). A questionnaire survey was distributed nationally to 100 gynaecologists and urologists. The main outcome measure was to determine whether respondents knew the NIDDK diagnostic criteria for PBS/IC. All respondents cared for women with lower urinary tract dysfunction in their daily practice; 40% had a special interest in urogynaecology. Most (83%) knew that urgency, frequency and pain are required to diagnose PBS/IC; however, few were aware of exclusion/inclusion criteria. The minority perform double fill at cystoscopy, and only 56% were aware that glomerulations and/or Hunner's ulcers are required to diagnose IC. Urologists with a special interest in female urology answered nearly 75% of the questionnaire correctly in contrast to less than 40% of general gynaecologists. The findings suggest misdiagnosis of PBS/IC may be widespread in the UK. The NIDDK criteria are complex and appear to be of little relevance in clinical practice highlighting the need for more clearly defined diagnostic criteria.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)615-620
Number of pages6
JournalInternational urogynecology journal and pelvic floor dysfunction
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2008


  • Clinical Competence
  • Cystitis, Interstitial
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Female
  • Great Britain
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Humans
  • Pain Measurement
  • Pelvic Pain
  • Questionnaires
  • Syndrome
  • Urology

Cite this