An editorial by Prof Dirk de Ridder on the latest ICS publication, 'Terminology for Adult male lower urinary tract and Pelvic Floor Symptoms and dysfunction', will shortly be available to view in the Neurourology & Urodynamics Journal.
Standards make the world a safer place. Our health is dependent on standards - from the definition of safe drinking water, over to the quality of medical equipment, to the creation of terminology, standards, and guidelines in healthcare.
Standards and terminology define what is being talked about. This is especially necessary in critical communication, but also to ensure the safe diagnosis and treatment of patients. It is important that the term for a symptom, condition or disease has the same meaning for every healthcare professional on this planet.
The International Continence Society (ICS) is recognised as the organisation that defines the terminology related to continence and pelvic floor conditions. The more people involved, and the wider dissemination of the preparatory interim reports, the higher quality and relevance the final report will have. After the publication of the International Urogynecological Association and International Continence Society's joint report, on the terminology for Female Pelvic Floor Dysfunction, Bernard Haylen and Carlos D’Ancona found the energy to produce another report revisiting the terminology of the Lower Urinary Tract and Pelvic Floor for Adult Males. The understanding of male LUTS has progressed considerably since the 2002 Standardisation report by Abrams P. et al. Now, 17 years later, an international group consisting of 15 specialists (from 14 countries) updated and expanded the existing terminology.
The effort of having 22 rounds of full review, 8 external experts, an open website review, the ICS Standardisation Steering committee review and the ICS Board review lead to a broadly supported consensus report. The authors have to be congratulated for this tremendous work.
While the 2002 report still provides the core terminology, this report should be more male-specific, more user-friendly and should allow more accurate communication between health professionals. The subchapters on urodynamic evaluation and on imaging integrate the knowledge and data from several other reports on this subject and offer a comprehensive overview for those readers who want to study the male lower urinary tract.
Composing this new report may have been a time consuming and difficult task, but the real challenge lies ahead.
Implementing new terminology in the medical, urological, nursing and physiotherapist communities will be a challenge.
Considerable efforts will have to be undertaken by, not only the ICS, but also other international societies such as the European Association of Urology and the American Urological Association to promote this new report as the new standard. Scientific journals should only accept manuscripts adhering to this new terminology report and international experts should stimulate young (and not so young) researchers and presenters to use this report while presenting clinical or non-clinical research on male lower urinary tract and pelvic floor symptoms and dysfunction.
Prof Dirk de Ridder
ICS Standardisation Steering Committee Chair
Neurourol Urodyn 2019;
ICS report on the terminology for Adult Male Lower Urinary Tract and Pelvic Floor Symptoms and Dysfunction
The ICS Report on the terminology for Adult male lower urinary tract and pelvic floor Symptoms and dysfunction, 2019, PDF