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Voiding dysfunction and the experience of intermittent self-catheterisation

10 December 2020
4 min read
Volume 29 · Issue 22

Intermittent self-catheterisation (ISC) isn't painful, right? It can be uncomfortable and often a nuisance if you have to do it, but it doesn't hurt.

In the literature, several quality-of-life studies highlight that the commencement of ISC impacts a patient's daily life in a positive way, when compared with the problems they may have experienced before ISC (Cobussen-Boekhorst et al, 2016). Markiewicz et al (2020) surveyed 393 patients, undertaking regular ISC and found depression, anxiety and feeling bad about oneself are not the lived experience of ISC patients. Furthermore, it was reported that preparation and anxiety pre-procedure were more difficult to manage than the execution of ISC itself (Cobussen-Boekhorst et al, 2016), clearly demonstrating the role of education and holistic support before initiating a regimen of ISC.

But what if patients don't find the procedure itself easy, or liberating? In fact, what if they find it a distressing experience? How do we coach these patients with sensitivity and diplomacy, while maintaining concordance with ISC as a daily regimen for the wellbeing of their urological condition, and their mental and physical health?

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