AIMS: To explore the effect of an online self-management program in secondary care for men with lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS).
METHODS: We performed a prospective nonrandomized double-cohort pilot study of consecutive adult men referred with uncomplicated LUTS to three urology outpatient departments. Men in both cohorts received care as usual from a urologist, but men in the intervention cohort also had access to an online self-management program. Outcomes were assessed after 6 and 12 weeks: LUTS severity was assessed with the International Prostate Symptom Score (IPSS), the Overactive Bladder Questionnaire (OABq), and the Perceived Global Impression of Improvement (PGI-I). The main outcome of interest was a clear improvement in the PGI-I scores ("much better" or "very much better").
RESULTS: Age, symptom severity, and quality of life scores were comparable between the intervention (n = 113) and standard care (n = 54) cohorts. Clear improvement in the PGI-I scores was reported after 12 weeks in 19.4% and 26.1% of men in the intervention and standard care cohorts, respectively. However, logistic regression analysis indicated that the difference between cohorts was not significant. Multivariable linear regression analysis also indicated no significant differences between cohorts for the IPSS or the OABq score at either assessment point. Notably, the uptake of the intervention was low (53%).
CONCLUSIONS: We found no significant benefit from adding an online self-management program to standard care for men with LUTS, probably due to the low uptake of the intervention that may have resulted from the timing in the care pathway.