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Bladder Control Scale (BLCS)



The BLCS is based on items from the Bowel-Bladder Function Scale (Turnbull et al, 1992) and the Sickness Impact Profile. This four-item instrument provides a brief assessment of bladder control and the extent to which bladder problems have an impact on everyday activities. The BLCS is one of the components of the MSQLI.

Administration time

Administration time is approximately 2-3 minutes.

Administration method

The BLCS is a structured, self-report questionnaire that the patient can generally complete with little or no intervention from an interviewer. However, patients with visual or upper extremity impairments may need to have the BLCS administered as an interview. Interviewers should be trained in basic interviewing skills and in the use of this instrument


The total score for the BLCS is the sum of the scores for the 4 items.

Download the MSQLI: A User’s Manual (PDF)

General comments

The BLCS is easy to administer and focuses on the basics of bladder control. Given the high frequency of bladder dysfunction among MS patients, the BLCS has high face validity. However, the scale was not designed as a comprehensive assessment of neurogenic bladder dysfunction and does not address issues such as urinary hesitancy and retention, detrusor-sphincter dyssynergia, etc.

Psychometric properties

The BLCS has a Cronbach's alpha of .82. In the original field testing of the MSQLI of which it is a part, the BLCS showed a modest but significant correlation with the Bladder and Bowel item of the Kurtzke Functional Systems and the Bladder Control Scale.


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