OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to evaluate national patterns of care for women with overactive bladder (OAB) in an administrative data set and identify potential areas for improvement. METHODS: We performed an analysis using the OptumLabs Data Warehouse, which contains deidentified administrative claims data from a large national US health insurance plan. The study included women, older than 18 years, with a new OAB diagnosis from January 1, 2007, to June 30, 2017. We excluded those with an underlying neurologic etiology, with interstitial cystitis/painful bladder syndrome, were pregnant, or did not have continuous enrollment for 12 months before and after OAB diagnosis. Trends in management were assessed via the Cochran-Armitage test. Time to discontinuation among medications was compared using t test. RESULTS: Of 1.4 million women in the database during the study time frame, 60,246 (4%) were included in the study. Median age was 61 years [interquartile range (IQR), 50-73], and median follow-up was 2.6 years (IQR, 1.6-4.2). Overall, 37% were treated with anticholinergics, 5% with beta-3 agonists, 7% with topical estrogen, and 2% with pelvic floor physical therapy; 26% saw a specialist; and 2% underwent third-line therapy. Median time to cessation of prescription filling was longer for beta-3 agonists versus anticholinergics [median, 4.1 months (IQR, 1-15) vs 3.6 months (IQR, 1-10); P < 0.0001]. Use of third-line therapies significantly increased over the study time frame, from 1.1% to 2.2% (P < 0.0001). CONCLUSIONS: Most of the patients do not continue filling prescriptions for OAB medications, and a minority of patients were referred for specialty evaluation. Although third-line therapy use is increasing, it is used in a small proportion of women with OAB. Given these patterns, there may be underutilization of specialist referral and other OAB therapies.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Obstetrics and Gynecology