Incorporating patient experience into drug development for ulcerative colitis: development of the Urgency Numeric Rating Scale, a patient-reported outcome measure to assess bowel urgency in adults.
Dubinsky MC., Irving PM., Panaccione R., Naegeli AN., Potts-Bleakman A., Arora V., Shan M., Travis S.
BACKGROUND: Bowel urgency, the sudden or immediate need to have a bowel movement, is a common, bothersome and disruptive symptom of ulcerative colitis (UC). UC treatment goals include control of urgency; however, it is not consistently assessed in UC clinical trials. The Urgency Numeric Rating Scale (NRS) is a new patient-reported measure to assess severity of bowel urgency in adults with UC developed in accordance with Food and Drug Administration guidelines. METHODS: Qualitative interviews were used to develop Urgency NRS. The scale asks patients to report the immediacy status of their UC symptom over the past 24 h on an 11-point horizontal numeric rating scale [0 (No urgency) to 10 (Worst possible urgency)]. Higher scores indicate worse urgency severity. A 2-week diary study assessed floor and ceiling effects, test-retest reliability (intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) (2,1) between Week 1 and 2), and construct validity (Spearman correlation using Week 1 scores). Weekly scores were calculated as mean score over each 7-day period. RESULTS: Qualitative interviews with 16 UC patients (mean age 37.9 ± 11.6 years; 50% female; 56% White) confirmed relevance, content, and comprehensiveness. The 2-week diary study included 41 UC patients (mean age 44.2 ± 14.6 years; 51% female; 56% White). No ceiling or floor effects were identified. Test-retest reliability was high (ICC = 0.877). Average Urgency NRS and patient global rating of severity scores were highly correlated, with a moderate correlation between average Urgency NRS and stool frequency, demonstrating construct validity. CONCLUSIONS: Bowel urgency is a distinct symptom of UC. The Urgency NRS is a well-defined, content-valid, and reliable measurement of bowel urgency in adults with UC.