Comparison of two questionnaires to diagnose obstructive defecation syndrome during pregnancy and post-natally

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


INTRODUCTION AND HYPOTHESIS: Obstructive defecation syndrome (ODS) is a common urogynaecology presentation. This study compares two questionnaires, the electronic Personal Assessment Questionnaire (e-PAQ), used in urogynaecology clinics, with the ODS-Score (ODS-S), a simple validated scoring system used in colorectal clinics for diagnosing ODS, to identify patients with an ODS-S cut-off ≥9.

METHODS: A total of 221 paired ODS-S and e-PAQ questionnaires were completed; 80 during the second trimester of pregnancy, 73 during the third and 68 post-natally, including women sustaining obstetric anal sphincter injury (OASI). e-PAQ score and ODS-S were compared and Pearson's correlation coefficient calculated. Areas under the curve assessed the diagnostic ability of e-PAQ scores to identify patients with ODS-S of ≥9.

RESULTS: The e-PAQ and ODS-S scores showed a positive correlation in the second and third trimesters of pregnancy, post-natally and following OASI. Pearson's correlation coefficient was calculated (0.77; p < 0.001, 0.79; p < 0.001, 0.66; p = 0.001 and 0.79; p < 0.001 respectively). An e-PAQ evacuatory domain score of ≥33 identified women with an ODS score of ≥9 with a sensitivity and specificity of 71% and 94% in the second trimester, 86% and 95% third trimester and 78% and 97% in the OASI group respectively. Area under the curve was >0.90 for all groups.

CONCLUSIONS: Comparison of e-PAQ evacuatory domain scores and ODS-S show a strong correlation, with an e-PAQ score of ≥33 promising for identifying women with an ODS score of ≥9, indicating ODS. This study will enable us to identify women during pregnancy and post-natally with ODS for whom early recognition and intervention may be beneficial.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Urogynecology Journal
Publication statusPublished - 10 Mar 2022


  • Anal sphincter
  • Defecation
  • Parturition
  • Pregnancy
  • Puerperium
  • Surveys and questionnaires

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Manchester Cancer Research Centre


Dive into the research topics of 'Comparison of two questionnaires to diagnose obstructive defecation syndrome during pregnancy and post-natally'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this