Prevention strategies have been effective in many areas of human health, yet have not been utilized for lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) or bladder health (BH). This commentary outlines LUTS prevention research initiatives underway within the NIH-sponsored Prevention of Lower Urinary Tract Symptoms Research Consortium (PLUS). Prevention science involves the systematic study of factors associated with health and health problems, termed protective and risk factors, respectively. PLUS is enhancing traditional prevention science approaches through use of: (1) a transdisciplinary team science approach, (2) both qualitative and quantitative research methodology (mixed methodology), and (3) community engagement. Important foundational work of PLUS includes development of clear definitions of both BH and disease, as well as a BH measurement instrument that will be validated for use in the general population, adolescents, and Latinx and Spanish-speaking women. The BH measurement instrument will be used in an upcoming nationally-representative cohort study that will measure BH and investigate risk and protective factors. PLUS investigators also developed a conceptual framework to guide their research agenda; this framework organizes a broad array of candidate risk and protective factors that can be studied across the life course of girls and women.1 As PLUS begins to fill existing knowledge gaps with new information, its efforts will undoubtedly be complemented by outside investigators to further advance the science of LUTS prevention and BH across additional populations. Once the BH community has broadened its understanding of modifiable risk and protective factors, intervention studies will be necessary to test LUTS prevention strategies and support public health efforts. LUTS providers may be able to translate this evolving evidence for individual patients under their care and act as BH advocates in their local communities.
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