Thu 22, Oct 2020

Day One of #NCOI2020 

Carolyn Vandyken will be presenting again as part of the second week of the National Conference on Incontinence 2020. Online day and week registrations remain open – visit for more. 

International Keynote Speaker Carolyn Vandyken was invited to share her world-class knowledge on central sensitisation in overactive bladder (OAB) with National Conference on Incontinence delegates. 

“I have been treating overactive bladder as a condition highly connected to the central nervous system for the past seven or eight years, with great success clinically,” Carolyn said.  

Her global perspective on overactive bladder started with a discussion of terminology and the similar presentations of three syndromes.   

“There is still not international agreement on terminology regarding bladder pain syndrome and interstitial cystitis. Where overactive bladder fits on this spectrum is also under great debate,” Carolyn said. 

Carolyn shared her recommendations on distinguishing between the conditions, as well as an explanation of what central sensitisation is.  

Does OAB belong in the category of central sensitisation? 

In answering this question, Carolyn covered the three main characteristics of central sensitisation that can often be identified in your patient’s presentation – and thus need to be considered. A determination was made on whether OAB fits in the criteria seen in pain conditions connected to central pain mechanisms.  

How do you measure central sensitisation?  

Carolyn shared details of a screening tool questionnaire with psychometric properties which can be used to identify the presence of central sensitisation in the clinic. 

“It has been my observation that many of my OAB patients have comorbid conditions, as identified previously, as well as psychological comorbidities.”  

How do you treat conditions associated with central sensitisation? 

“Assessing the psychological features, as well as the context of a person’s life, is as equally important in developing a well-rounded treatment plan if you seek to really ameliorate their symptoms,” Carolyn said.   

She went on to share the tools she uses as a physiotherapist to measure psychosocial sequelae and factors in patients.  

“When you objectively measure, or profile, their unique sensitisation, we can direct treatment more specifically at the area of distress and call upon an interdisciplinary team as appropriate.” 

Clinical application 

A case study was reviewed in this lecture in order to understand the clinical application of a framework to assess and treat OAB from a whole-person perspective. Delegates were able to pose their questions to Carolyn in a live Q&A after the session. 

Register for week one or full registration to NCOI 2020 for access to this presentation for two months: