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Measurement properties of patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs) for women with genitourinary syndrome of menopause: a systematic review

Gabes M1Knüttel H2Stute P3Apfelbacher CJ1.

Menopause. 2019 Nov;26(11):1342-1353. doi: 10.1097/GME.0000000000001390.





Genitourinary syndrome of menopause affects up to 50% of postmenopausal women and has negative impacts on the women’s quality of life. In this systematic review, we aimed to identify and assess the measurement properties of all existing patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs) specific for genitourinary symptoms that were developed and/or validated for measuring patient-reported outcomes in postmenopausal women.


Studies which evaluated, described, or compared measurement properties of PROMs were considered as eligible. We performed a systematic literature search in MEDLINE, EMBASE, and Web of Science. The methodological quality of each study was assessed using the COnsensus-based Standards for the selection of health Measurement INstruments (COSMIN) Risk of Bias checklist. Furthermore, predefined quality criteria for good measurement properties were applied and the quality of the evidence was graded.


Nine articles reporting on four PROMs were included. Two instruments, the Vulvovaginal Symptoms Questionnaire and the Day-to-Day Impact of Vaginal Aging Questionnaire, can be further recommended for use. Both showed moderate to high quality of evidence for sufficient structural validity, internal consistency, and construct validity. The two other instruments, urogenital atrophy quality of life (UGAQoL) and the Urogenital Symptom Scale, cannot be recommended for use, whereby the UGAQoL still has the opportunity to be recommended if the authors gave access to the instrument and further validation studies were conducted.


Both Vulvovaginal Symptoms Questionnaire and Day-to-Day Impact of Vaginal Aging Questionnaire can be recommended for use and results obtained with these two instruments can be seen as trustworthy. Future validation studies should focus on those two instruments.