Author(s): Teunissen D, Van Den Bosch W, Van Weel C, LagroJanssen T
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Abstract OBJECTIVE: To determine the impact of urinary incontinence (UI) on the quality of life of the elderly in the general population and to identify factors with the greatest effect. DESIGN: Qualitative and quantitative analyses of interview data. SETTING: Patients from the nine family practices of the Nijmegen University Research Network. SUBJECTS: Independently living patients aged 60 and over. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: All independently living patients aged 60 and over with uncomplicated UI were interviewed at home using the Incontinence Impact Questionnaire and open-ended questions. RESULTS: In total, 56 men and 314 women were interviewed. A majority do not have such an impact. In the Incontinence Impact Questionnaire (IIQ) emotional well-being was most affected. Half to one-third of the patients felt nervous, embarrassed, or frustrated because of their incontinence. In the social domain "clothing" and "fear of odour" scored the highest impact. The most affected practical consequence in the IIQ was "going to places where you are not sure about the availability of a toilet" followed by "travelling longer than 20 minutes" and "entertainment". Men reported higher impact scores than women, despite the fact that incontinence was less severe in men. The most important effect of incontinence reported in men was "being out of control" while most women considered "feeling impelled to take several precautions" to be the most important consequence of UI. CONCLUSION: UI affects nearly half of patients, particularly as regards their emotional well-being and in public activities. Men experienced more impact compared with women and experienced loss of control more often than women.
This article was published in Scand J Prim Health Care
and referenced in Journal of Neonatal Biology