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  • Rebecca Anderson

Blog: Using a Voiding Diary Form Helps Overactive Bladder and Incontinent Patients

Updated: Nov 17, 2020

(Written for Cogentix Medical)

Voiding diaries are a valuable diagnostic tool for both patient and physician. When a voiding diary is administered and maintained correctly, patients become more active participants in the management of their condition and medical professionals have a better understanding of the progress and efficacy of treatment.

Voiding Diary Interpretation

A voiding diary is a daily record of the patient’s fluid input and urinary output. Faithful completion of the diary by a patient will help identify issues with urinary urgency, urinary frequency, and incontinent episodes as well as behavioral irregularities (e.g., excessive fluid or caffeine consumption) that may be contributing to Overactive

Bladder symptoms. This information is valuable for urology assessment because it provides details about bladder function, which is important to investigating symptoms and making diagnoses. In addition, diaries are used to help plan and provide future treatment and maintenance programs.

Patient history -- the verbal explanation of the patient’s complaint -- when used independently, is not as reliable as using the data from voiding diaries, according to research and clinical studies. People often forget just how many times their lives are disrupted by voiding episodes, and when patients are recounting symptoms to medical professionals, there’s a possibility their problems may be misinterpreted. However, using patient history and voiding diaries combined can provide valuable information.

Patient Compliance in using a Urine Voiding Diary

When treating OAB with percutaneous tibial nerve stimulation (PTNS) administered via the Urgent PC Neuromodulation System, using a voiding diary can be useful for charting improvement, managing regression, and increasing patient satisfaction. Of course, getting patients to complete a voiding diary can be half the battle. Medical professionals can help increase patient compliance by taking the following steps:

  • Assess patients to decide what type of diary is necessary and manageable.

  • Based on the assessment, determine what information and data should be recorded.

  • Impress upon the patient the need for consistency and accuracy in recording information.

  • Help the patient understand what they need to record and why. Explain how you will review their voiding diary at each office visit and that the information they record will shape their personal treatment plan.

Best Practices in Tracking Fluid Intake and Output

In order for patients and their providers to accurately evaluate progress, witness subtle changes and improvements occurring during treatment, patients should: 

  • Maintain the diary for a minimum of three consecutive days per week (3-7 days is recommended).

  • Include both work and leisure days.

  • Chart full 24-hour time periods.

  • Assess the size of the void (even when voiding occurs in public restrooms or outside the home).

Sample Voiding Diary

Different types of voiding diaries are available, but Cogentix Medical has created a new voiding diary booklet that allows tracking for 16 weeks. This covers this initial 12 weeks of Urgent PC therapy, along with space for periodic symptom tracking once the patient is placed on maintenance therapy. Click here to download sample pages of the new voiding diary booklet.

Since symptom improvement with PTNS happens gradually, a voiding diary is an essential way for patients to stay focused and celebrate the small successes along the way. In addition, if the patients’ symptoms regress, the diary also chronicles behavioral changes (e.g., increases in caffeine, drinking right before bed) that may need to be adjusted for treatment success.

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