What is the AUASS or American Urological Association Symptom Score?
The AUASS is based on a seven question survey in which patients rate the severity of the symptoms associated with Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH), commonly known as enlarged prostate. The answer to these questions offers insight into how BPH may be affecting a man’s daily routine and quality of life. Patients are asked to rate the frequency of experiencing symptoms over the past month. Each score is ranked on a scale of 1 to 5, with lower scores suggesting fewer or less severe symptoms. The initial total score becomes the benchmark from which a qualified urologist can develop a treatment plan and measure results.
- Scores of 0-7 indicate mild symptoms
- Scores of 8-19 indicate moderate symptoms
- Scores of 20- 35 indicate severe symptoms
Many urologists use the AUASS in conjunction with other assessment tests to determine what the best course of BPH treatment may be. This could include watchful waiting which means the physician has determined that no immediate treatment is necessary. The urologist will track the AUASS and reevaluate the treatment plan regularly. If a course of treatment is implemented, the effectiveness of the procedure will often be measured by the reduction of the AUASS at various intervals.
The AUASS is a subjective measure of BPH. However, BPH is primarily a quality of life issue, making a patient’s answers to these questions critical to the determination of treatment. Further, the symptoms caused by an enlarged prostate can vary and are not predictive of the actual size of the prostate. In other words, severe symptoms could manifest from either mild or severe enlargement. It all depends on the individual.
The purpose of the AUASS is to offer the urologist a better picture of how the prostate is affecting a man, his quality of life and daily behaviors. The ultimate goal of the AUASS is to give both the patient and the doctor a way to communicate the severity of symptoms that are not easily diagnosed by a physical exam or medical tests.
If you would like to find out your AUASS results, please click here.
After understanding the symptoms of an enlarged prostate and taking the AUASS survey, patients should make an appointment with a urologist to assess the degree of prostate enlargement. Remember, more options are available to treat BPH the sooner it is addressed. After diagnostic testing and consultation, patients and their urologist can discuss together the most appropriate treatment plan.