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No AccessUrology PracticeHealth Policy1 May 2022

Identifying Patient-Centered Research Priorities in Overactive Bladder by Crowdsourcing and Targeted Recruitment

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Patient perspectives in quality-of-life improvement are critical to measuring treatment outcomes. We aimed to identify patient priorities for overactive bladder (OAB) research.


Participants were recruited utilizing the Amazon Mechanical Turk database, an online marketplace where individuals receive payment for completing tasks. Those who scored 4 or higher on the OAB-V3, a simple 3-question screening survey, were requested to complete an “OAB-q and Prioritization Survey,” which identified preferences for future OAB research priorities, demographic and clinical data, and symptom severity via the OAB-q. Participants must have correctly answered an attention-confirming question to have their responses included in the final analysis.


Of 555 responders, 352 screened positive on the OAB-V3 and 232 completed the followup survey and met study criteria. The top 3 research preferences were: discovering the etiology of OAB (31%); individualized treatment based on age, race, gender and comorbidities (19%); and identifying the fastest OAB treatments (15%). Participants who selected etiology of OAB in the top 3 research priorities (56%) were older (38.7±2.1 vs 33.9±1.5 years, p=0.05) and had significantly lower mean health-related quality of life scores than those who did not (25.1±2.5 vs 35.5±3.9, p=0.02).


Using Amazon Mechanical Turk, we present the first report of OAB research priorities identified by patients experiencing OAB symptoms. Crowdsourcing offers a timely and cost-effective manner to learn directly from people with OAB symptoms. Few participants sought treatment for OAB despite having bothersome symptoms.


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Submitted November 12, 2021.

Recusal: Dr. Malik is a member of the Urology Practice® Editorial Committee and was recused from the editorial and peer review processes.

Support: Funding was provided by the University of Maryland Baltimore Department of Surgery.

Conflict of Interest: There are no conflicts of interest to disclose.

Ethics Statement: This study was deemed exempt from Institutional Review Board approval.

Data Availability: The data that support the findings of this study are available from the corresponding author upon reasonable request. I give permission to reproduce material from other sources.