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Statement of the Problem: Lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) are an important but often neglected issue in patients with
Parkinson???s disease (PD). The purpose of this presentation is to highlight findings from a series of studies conducted over the past
decade that expand evidence about the prevalence and impact of LUTS in male PD patients and their spouse caregivers.
Theory & Methods: Guided by the theory of unpleasant symptoms and family systems theory, four studies were conducted. All
participants were recruited from the movement disorders clinic of a Veterans Affairs Medical Center. Study designs were: retrospective
with total population sampling (N=271 clinic records); cross-sectional with convenience sampling (N=88 men with PD and LUTS);
and qualitative descriptive with purposive sampling of cross-sectional study participants (N=11) and their spouses (N=15). Data
from clinic records and interviews (structured and semi-structured) were analyzed using statistical procedures and content analysis
(directed and conventional).
Findings: Most patient participants had mild PD symptoms, yet UI prevalence was 24% and 92% in retrospective and cross-sectional
studies respectively. Patients had limited awareness of the neurologic contributions of PD to LUTS. Embarrassment, bother and
diminished self-esteem jeopardized their relationships, intimacy, social life, and travel. Spouses understood that PD caused LUTS
and empathized with their husbands; however, they still experienced bother and emotional distress related to LUTS and coped
primarily by ???dealing with it.??? Patients and spouses relied mostly on do-it-yourself strategies to manage LUTS-some ingenious and
Conclusion: LUTS may be highly prevalent in the early symptomatic phase of PD, negatively affects patients and families, and often
escapes the attention of providers. We recommend: screening patients and families for LUTS issues in all stages of PD; inquiring
about burden and management strategies; and referring to urology providers as needed. LUTS treatment deserves designation as a
priority area for PD research.
Joanne P Robinson is a University Professor at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, USA. She is known for her contributions to Gerontologic and Urologic Nursing. Her research on lower urinary tract symptoms in older adults has been supported by the USA’s National Institute of Nursing Research, which has recognized her with six awards and merited appointment to the Board of the Center for Clinical Investigation of the Wound Ostomy and Continence Nursing Society from 2011 to 2015. Currently, she chairs the Nursing Education Subcommittee of the International Continence Society. She has been a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing since 2011.
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