“As part of the [MAPP] network, and the research that it did, we recognized that it was really important to consider pelvic pain symptoms separately from urinary symptoms,” says Alisa J. Stephens-Shields, PhD.
In this video, Alisa J. Stephens-Shields, PhD, discusses the background behind the Journal of Urology study, “Clinically Important Differences for Pain and Urinary Symptoms in Urologic Chronic Pelvic Pain Syndrome: A MAPP Network Study.” Stephens-Shields is an associate professor of biostatistics, epidemiology, and informatics at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine in Philadelphia.
Before I describe the current study, [I'd like to describe] the MAPP Research Network, which is the Multidisciplinary Approach to the Study of Chronic Pelvic Pain. This research network was started after a series of unsuccessful trials for therapies for urologic chronic pelvic pain syndrome, which is an umbrella term for interstitial cystitis and painful bladder syndrome, as well as chronic prostatitis and chronic pelvic pain syndrome. With the MAPP Research Network, we are trying to learn more about different ways that the condition can be subtyped and classified in ways that can help us determine how to treat patients. As part of the network, and the research that it did, we recognized that it was really important to consider pelvic pain symptoms separately from urinary symptoms. And so we developed these 2 measures called the PPS, the pelvic pain symptom severity, and the USS, the urinary symptom severity. Each of these measures varies on a scale from 0 to 20-something, and with those scales, we assess how severe patients are with regard to these 2 types of symptoms. A question whenever you have a continuous measure, one that varies along a scale, is, how much movement on that scale is perceptible to patients as feeling better? So in our study, we identify how much a patient needs to change or how much movement on those scales is actually perceptible to patients as feeling better.
This transcription was edited for clarity.