Prevalence of cognitive impairment in older women with pelvic floor disorders

Cynelle Murray Kunkle, Melinda G. Abernethy, Lily R. van Tongeren, Tola B. Fashokun, Edward James Wright, Chi Chiung Grace Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Introduction and hypothesis: This study aimed to determine the prevalence of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and early dementia among women >55 years seeking care for pelvic floor disorders (PFDs) and to describe the impact of cognitive impairment on condition-specific quality of life (QoL). We hypothesized that the prevalence of MCI would be at least 15% among this population. Methods: This was a cross-sectional study of English-speaking women >55 years presenting for evaluation of PFDs. We assessed baseline demographics and administered the Short Test of Mental Status (STMS) to screen for cognitive impairment. We predicted a sample of 196 would be needed for a precision of ±5% of the estimated sample prevalence in participants with PFDs. Chi-square tests were used to compare categorical variables and Student’s t tests and analysis of variance (ANOVA) for continuous variables. Multivariate regression analysis was used to assess for any independent association with cognitive impairment and condition-specific QoL. Results: Between July 2013 and July 2014, 211 participants were enrolled. The prevalence of MCI and early dementia were 15% [95% confidence interval (CI) 10.9–20.6; n = 32)] and 17% (95% CI 11.9–22.1; n = 36], respectively. Patients with MCI and early dementia had higher Patient Heath Questionnaire scores indicating greater depressive symptoms (p = 0.006) and higher overall Pelvic Floor Impact Questionnaire scores indicating worse condition-specific QoL (p = 0.008). Conclusion: MCI and early dementia were prevalent in our population seeking care for PFDs. Women with cognitive impairment experienced worse condition-specific QoL.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-6
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Urogynecology Journal
StateAccepted/In press - Apr 4 2017


  • Cognitive impairment
  • Urinary incontinence
  • Uterovaginal prolapse

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Urology

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