This website is for UK Healthcare Professionals only

The Patient Experience: Overactive bladder (OAB) can impact on patients' quality of life in many ways

Definition of OAB: OAB is characterised by urinary urgency, with or without urgency urinary incontinence, usually with increased daytime frequency and nocturia5,6


  • urgency UI:6 involuntary leakage accompanied by urgency
  • stress UI:involuntary leakage on effort or exertion, or on sneezing or coughing
  • mixed UI:6 involuntary leakage associated with urgency and also with exertion, effort, sneezing or coughing

The impacts of OAB on patient quality of life are manifold7-16


  • limitations or cessation of physical activities7
  • disturbed sleep8


  • avoidance of sexual contact and intimacy7,9


  • special underwear (pads) and bedding7,9
  • precautions with clothing7,9
  • contributes to need for homecare services and long-term care10


  • depression7,11,12
  • loss of self-esteem7
  • embarrassment9


  • reduction in social interaction7
  • reliance on toilet accessibility7-9


  • absence from work7
  • decreased productivity7

Impact of OAB on daily living

2 out of 3 patients report that their symptoms affect their daily life17

*CES-D: Center for Epidemiological Studies – Depression. The CES-D is a self-reported depression scale including 20 items, developed to identify depression-related symptoms. Scores range from 0 to 60, with higher scores relating to more depression-related symptoms, and scores of 16 or over indicating depression.13

OAB: overactive bladder; UI: urinary incontinence.

BOTOX® is indicated for the management of bladder dysfunctions in adult patients who are not adequately managed with anticholinergics: overactive bladder with symptoms of urinary incontinence, urgency and frequency19



  1. Allergan. Data on file. INT/0423/2016
  2. Aurora S K, Winner P et al. OnabotulinumtoxinA for treatment of chronic migraine: pooled analyses of the 56-week PREEMPT clinical program. Headache 2011;51(9):1358-1373
  3. Blumenfeld A M, Stark R J et al. Long-term study of the efficacy and safety of onabotulinumtoxinA for the prevention of chronic migraine: COMPEL study. J Headache Pain 2018;19(1):13
  4. Allergan Ltd. Data on file 014
  5. Abrams P, Cardozo L et al. The standardisation of terminology of lower urinary tract function: report from the Standardisation Sub-committee of the International Continence Society. Neurourol Urodyn 2002;21(2):167-178
  6. Milsom I. Epidemiology of urinary incontinence (UI) and other lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS), pelvic organ prolapse (POP) and anal (AI) incontinence. Abrams P et al. Incontinence: 6th edition. 2017:50
  7. Tubaro A. Defining overactive bladder: epidemiology and burden of disease. Urology 2004;64(6 Suppl 1):2-6
  8. Coyne K S, Payne C et al. The impact of urinary urgency and frequency on health-related quality of life in overactive bladder: results from a national community survey. Value Health 2004;7(4):455-463
  9. Abrams P, Kelleher C J et al. Overactive bladder significantly affects quality of life. Am J Manag Care 2000;6(11 Suppl):S580-590
  10. Du Moulin M F, Hamers J P et al. Prevalence of urinary incontinence among community-dwelling adults receiving home care. Res Nurs Health 2008;31(6):604-612
  11. Zorn B H, Montgomery H et al. Urinary incontinence and depression. J Urol 1999;162(1):82-84
  12. Irwin D E, Milsom I et al. Impact of overactive bladder symptoms on employment, social interactions and emotional well-being in six European countries. BJU Int 2006;97(1):96-100
  13. Stewart W F, Van Rooyen J B et al. Prevalence and burden of overactive bladder in the United States. World J Urol 2003;20(6):327-336
  14. Papanicolaou S, Hunskaar S et al. Assessment of bothersomeness and impact on quality of life of urinary incontinence in women in France, Germany, Spain and the UK. BJU Int 2005;96(6):831-838
  15. Rigby D. Urinary urge incontinence: causes and management strategies. Br J Community Nurs 2005;10(4):172, 174-178
  16. Brown J S, Subak L L et al. Urge incontinence: the patient's perspective. J Womens Health 1998;7(10):1263-1269
  17. Milsom I, Abrams P et al. How widespread are the symptoms of an overactive bladder and how are they managed? A population-based prevalence study. BJU Int 2001;87(9):760-766
  18. Temml C, Haidinger G et al. Urinary incontinence in both sexes: prevalence rates and impact on quality of life and sexual life. Neurourol Urodyn 2000;19(3):259-271
  19. BOTOX® Summary of Product Characteristics. Accessed April 2022

Please refer to the BOTOX® Summary of Product Characteristics for further information on adverse events, contraindications and special warnings and precautions for use.


Adverse events should be reported. Reporting forms and information can be found at

Adverse events should also be reported to AbbVie on [email protected] 


Date of preparation: April 2022. UK-BUO-220016.