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Nurses key to identifying and supporting patients with continence problems

28 January 2021
Volume 30 · Issue 2

It is estimated that 14 million men, women, young people and children are living with bladder problems, roughly the equivalent number of the over-60s population in the UK. It is also estimated that 61% of men in the general population experience lower urinary tract symptoms and around 34% of women are living with urinary incontinence (NHS England, 2018).

The British Geriatric Society recognises several causes of incontinence (Box 1) (British Geriatric Society, 2018). Different causes of urinary incontinence will require different treatments and, once a diagnosis has been made, treatment will be relatively straightforward.

Non-surgical treatments include:

Additionally, there are people who will benefit from the use of incontinence products, such as absorbent pads, handheld urinals and urinary catheters.

Initial diagnosis will be based on symptoms and signs, including the onset of incontinence, identifying which, if any, treatments have already been tried, and how the patient is coping with the condition in their day-to-day life.

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