Appropriate diagnosis and management of overactive bladder (OAB) by GPs is essential in reducing its negative impact on an individual’s quality of life. Successful community-based treatment of OAB involves behavioural therapy, often in conjunction with anticholinergic medications.
- Overactive bladder (OAB) is characterised by urinary urgency with or without urinary incontinence, generally in the presence of frequency and nocturia.
- OAB is a common condition and the prevalence increases with age.
- Without treatment, OAB may produce a significant negative impact on an individual’s quality of life.
- Diagnosis involves history and physical examination, urinalysis, measurement of post-void residual urine volume and assessment of a bladder diary.
- OAB can be successfully treated in the general practice setting via behavioural modifications (e.g. fluid scheduling, bladder retraining, micturition deferment) and use of anticholinergic medications.
- Referral of patients to a urologist or urogynaecologist is indicated for those who are refractory to treatment or in whom the diagnosis of OAB is unclear.