Two types of urgency

Jerry G. Blaivas, Georgia Panagopoulos, Jeffrey P. Weiss, Chandra Somaroo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Aims: To determine whether urinary urgency, as defined by the International Continence Society, is an intensification of the normal sensation that occurs when micturition must be delayed once the urge to void is felt (Type 1 urgency) or a discrete, pathologic symptom different from the normal urge (Type 2 urgency). Methods: Forty-eight consecutive patients who complained of urinary urgency completed two different questionnaires designed to answer the question posed above. The patients were divided into two groups of 24. For the test-retest, group 1 completed questionnaire 1 twice within 3-10 days and group 2 did the same with questionnaire 2. On the second administration of the questionnaire, each subject crossed over and answered the other questionnaire. For the test-retest, since the data set is dichotomous (yes/no), the degree of agreement between the two sets of data was assessed by calculating the kappa coefficient. Results: There were 37 women and 11 men ranging in age from 54 to 87 years. There was no difference in age and sex between the two groups (P = 0.19). There was excellent agreement in the test-retest responses for both questionnaires (kappa = 1.0, P < 0.001). For questionnaire 1, the urge sensation was an intensification of the normal sensation in 33 (68.8%) and it was a different sensation in 15 (31.3%). Similarly, for questionnaire 2, it was an intensification of the normal urge in 34 (70.8%) and different in 14 (29.2%). The differences in patient responses between the two groups were not significant. In the crossover section, only 1 of 48 subjects changed their response, resulting in a very high degree of agreement (kappa = .95, p < .001). Combining the two groups, urgency was perceived as an intensification of the normal urge to void in 33/48 patients (69%), a different sensation in 14/48 (29%) and 1/48 (2%) was not sure. Conclusions: Urgency is comprised of at least two different sensations. One is an intensification of the normal urge to void and the other is a different sensation. The implications of this distinction are important insofar as they may have different etiologies and respond differently to treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)188-190
Number of pages3
JournalNeurourology and Urodynamics
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • OAB
  • Overactive bladder
  • Urgency


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