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Measuring symptoms of prolapse with the Pelvic Organ Prolapse Symptom Score (POP-SS)

About This PhD Project

Project Description

Ref: SHLS20038 Hagen

Pelvic organ prolapse is a common female condition characterised by symptomatic descent of the vaginal walls, apex or vault from the normal anatomical position. Prolapse is strongly associated with childbirth, ageing and the menopause. Women with prolapse present with a variety of symptoms (vaginal, bladder, bowel, back, abdominal and sexual). Robust tools are needed to measure both the anatomical severity of prolapse and its symptoms.

At the NMAHP Research Unit ( we developed the Pelvic Organ Prolapse Symptom Score (POP-SS), and have published on its internal consistency, construct validity and sensitivity to change [1]. We concluded that the POP-SS has good internal consistency and construct validity and is sensitive to change. However, the underlying structure of the POP-SS has not been rigorously investigated, and only limited work has been undertaken on its test-retest reliability and minimal clinically important difference [2]. Because the POP-SS has now been widely used, both in the research and clinical contexts, we have a large volume of data which could be interrogated to further develop this important tool.

To undertake further development and testing of the POP-SS, to ensure it is a robust tool supported by good evidence, which can be confidently recommended for use to clinicians and researchers in the field of pelvic floor health worldwide.

1. Hagen, S et al. Psychometric properties of the pelvic organ prolapse symptom score. BJOG: an international journal of obstetrics and gynaecology, 2009 Jan, 116(1):25-31
2. Hagen S et al. Further properties of the pelvic organ prolapse symptom score: minimally important change and test-retest reliability. Neurourol Urodyn 2010;29(6):1055-1056

The successful applicant will have a background in a quantitative discipline, or considerable experience of applying quantitative methods. Candidates are requested to submit a more detailed proposal (maximum 2000 words) on the project area as part of the application.

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