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Systematic review

Open Access

Several interventions to alleviate pain in male patients undergoing office-based flexible cystoscopy: a systematic review and meta-analysis

  • Zhihong Wang1
  • Wuran Wei1

1Department of Urology, Institute of Urology, West China Hospital, Sichuan University, 610041 Chengdu, Sichuan Province, China

DOI: 10.31083/jomh.2021.077

Submitted: 16 March 2021 Accepted: 01 April 2021

Online publish date: 22 July 2021

*Corresponding Author(s): Wuran Wei E-mail:

PDF (1.23 MB)


Background: The purpose of this study was to explore the ability of nonpharmacologic adjuvant interventions to alleviate pain in male patients during flexible cystoscopy (FC) under local anesthesia.

Methods: Electronic databases including PubMed, the Cochrane Library, and Embase were searched to identify eligible clinical trials from inception to 31 December 2020, with no language restrictions. Two independent reviewers used Cochrane Collaboration tools to assess the selection criteria, methodological rigor and risk of bias. Statistical analyses were performed using STATA 14.2.

Results: In total, 717 studies were initially identified, and fourteen randomized controlled trials were ultimately included. We observed that patients who underwent FC with higher irrigation pressures had significantly lower pain scores on the visual analog scale than their counterparts with lower irrigation pressure during FC (weight mean difference (WMD): −1.43; 95% confidence interval (CI): −1.72 to −1.14) with no between-study heterogeneity (p = 0.661). There were no significant differences in pain between immediate or delayed FC groups under the same local anesthetic (standard mean difference (SMD): −0.19; 95% CI: −0.39 to 0.01). A pooled analysis of three studies including 340 male patients showed that men who observed the cystoscopy on the monitor had significantly lower pain ratings compared to those who did not view the operation on the monitor (SMD: −0.64; 95% CI: −1.14 to −0.15). Two studies, including a total of 272 patients, assessed the influence of listening to music on pain and anxiety in male patients during FC. Our meta-analysis found that music significantly improved patient pain (WMD: −0.92; 95% CI: −1.29 to −0.54). Hand-holding and urination during FC also relieved pain and anxiety in male patients undergoing FC.

Conclusions: We observed that elevated irrigation pressure, real-time cystoscopy visualization, and music therapy alleviated pain in male patients undergoing FC. Well-designed trials are needed to confirm our findings.


Flexible cystoscopy; Music; Pressure; Bag squeeze; Real-time visualization

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Zhihong Wang,Wuran Wei. Several interventions to alleviate pain in male patients undergoing office-based flexible cystoscopy: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Journal of Men's Health. 2021.doi:10.31083/jomh.2021.077.


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