Social and economic burden of recurrent urinary tract infections and quality of life: a patient web-based study (GESPRIT)

Background: Uncomplicated lower urinary tract infections (UTIs) occur in approximately 50% of women, and 20–30% experience recurrent UTI. Data on UTIs and quality of life (QoL) in Europe are limited.

Methods: This was an anonymous, self-administered web-based survey conducted in 5 countries (Germany, Switzerland, Poland, Russia and Italy), on adult women who had experienced recurrent UTI and were affected by acute UTI currently or within 4 weeks of study entry. Questions covered disease course; management; social and economic burden; education, income, and health insurance status. QoL was evaluated using the SF-12v2.

Results: Participants reported a mean of 5.15 UTI symptoms, ranging from 4.85 − 5.38 in Russia and Germany. There was a mean of 2.78 doctor visits per year (1.74 − 3.71 in Russia and Germany; p < 0.0001). 80.3% of participants had been treated with antibiotics, mean prescriptions ranged from 2.17 (Poland) to 3.36 (Germany) per person per year. A mean of 3.09 days sick leave due to UTIs, and 3.45 days of limited activities, were reported. Although 73.8% of participants had tried prophylaxis recurrence was common and associated with mental stress for a high proportion of women.

Conclusions: Our results indicate that recurrent UTIs have a significant impact on QoL of women in Europe.