Urinary incontinence – the accidental leaking of urine – is a major problem in Australia and has a significant impact on quality of life, affecting the social, psychological, physical and financial aspects of life. The prevalence of urinary incontinence is significantly higher in women than in men. While urine loss itself is a devastating symptom, older women are also likely to suffer lower urinary tract symptoms associated with the overactive bladder syndrome such as urgency, frequency, mixed incontinence and nocturia which are reported more frequently in older women. These symptoms disrupt activities of daily living as well as seriously disturbing sleep and general health status. Conservative nurse interventions have been shown to be effective in the management of these symptoms. Simple assessment tools suitable for use by primary level clinicians and conservative management strategies are discussed within the paper.
Contemporary Nurse: Health Care Across the Lifespan Vol. 26, Issue 2, p. 198-207