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Background and Objectives
Bladder pain syndrome (BPS) is an uncommon and potentially debilitating spectrum of chronic pain typically accompanied by lower urinary tract symptoms. Intravesical hyaluronic acid (HA) is a commonly used treatment option, but requires multiple follow-up clinic appointments. We introduced a novel patient-led ‘at-home’ pathway of self-administered HA treatment to reduce the number hospital visits required by patients.
We assessed and compared patient-reported outcome measures (PROMS) from patients receiving nurse-administered ‘in-hospital’ and patient-led self-administered ‘at-home’ intravesical HA (Cystistat® and Hyacyst®, respectively). Secondary outcome measures included differences between waiting times for treatment, frequency of treatments, number of clinician and nurse clinic appointments, and estimated financial costs.
Patients and Methods
Sixty consecutive patients commencing intravesical HA for BPS symptoms between 1st January 2016 and 31st March 2019 were included. O’Leary-Sant Interstitial Cystitis Symptom Index questionnaires were completed prior to, and following, six treatments. Relevant clinical and demographic data were also collected.
Overall, 76.6% of the patients had improvement in symptoms after HA treatment. Mean O’Leary-Sant questionnaire symptom and problem scores were significantly improved following HA treatment (11.8 (range 6–17) to 8.5 (range 4–13) (p=0.00005) and 11.4 (range 4–16) to 7.9 (range 4–14) (p=0.0002), respectively. There were no significant differences in symptom improvements between patients on either pathway.
Mean waiting time for treatment and number of treatments were lower in the patient-led pathway, and number of hospital visits was significantly lower in the patient-led at home pathway. The patient-led pathway could ‘save’ approximately 76 nurse clinic and 11 outpatient clinic appointments per year, and confer cost-savings of more than £1,500 per patient, per year.
Our case series analyses suggest that patient-led ‘at-home’ intravesical HA administration (Hyacyst®) is acceptable to patients and confers similar symptomatic benefit to ‘in-hospital’ nurse-led HA (Cystistat®). In addition, it appears that BPS sufferers established on the patient-led pathway require fewer HA treatments and fewer hospital visits, and as such, the patient-led pathway may also confer financial cost savings, and relieve some pressures on clinic appointment availability.
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