Treating urinary incontinence in post-stroke adults

Thomas, Lois orcid iconORCID: 0000-0001-5218-6546, French, Beverley, Watkins, Caroline orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-9403-3772, Leathley, Michael, Sutton, Chris J orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-6406-1318, Cross, Stephen and Barrett, James (2008) Treating urinary incontinence in post-stroke adults. Continence UK, 2 (3). pp. 43-48.

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Background: Urinary incontinence affects 40–60% of people admitted to hospital after a stroke, with 25% still having problems on discharge and 15% remaining incontinent at one year. The more severe the stroke, the greater is the likelihood of the patient developing urinary incontinence. Addressing continence issues whilst the patient is still in hospital may prevent long-term problems for both the patient and also the family/carers.

Aim: To determine the optimal methods for treating urinary incontinence after stroke in adults.

Methods: The authors conducted a systematic review for the Cochrane Collaboration.

Results: There was some evidence to suggest that specialist professional input through structured assessment and management of care as well as specialist continence nursing may reduce urinary incontinence after stroke. Data from trials of other interventions are insufficient to guide the continence care of adults after stroke.

Conclusion: Outcome measures of urinary incontinence and of urinary symptoms should be standardised, with attention to their validity and reliability and the blinding of outcome
assessment. The measurement of changes in health-related quality of life would also be valuable.

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