Anatomical urinary stress incontinence in women with rheumatoid arthritis: Its frequency and coping strategies

Authors

  • Cara Adams MS, PT,

    Corresponding author
    1. Associate Professor in the Division of Physical Therapy, School of Health Related Professions at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, Alabama
    • Division of Physical Therapy, School of Health Related Professions, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL 35294, USA
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  • Chris Lorish PhD,

    1. Chris Lorish, PhD, and James Jackson, PhD, are Assistant Professors of Education in Medicine, Office of Educational Development, School of Medicine, University of Alabama at Birmingham
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  • Connie Cushing MS,

    1. Connie Cushing, MS, is a Physical Therapist at The Children's Hospital of Alabama in Birmingham, Alabama
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  • Elisabeth Willis MS,

    1. Physical Therapist at Lewis-Gale Hospital in Salem, Virginia
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  • James Jackson PhD,

    1. Chris Lorish, PhD, and James Jackson, PhD, are Assistant Professors of Education in Medicine, Office of Educational Development, School of Medicine, University of Alabama at Birmingham
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  • Jane Walter EdD

    1. Associate Professor and the Director, Physical Therapy Program, School of Health Sciences, Oakland University, Rochester, Michigan
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Abstract

Objective. The objectives of this study were to develop a valid screening tool for anatomical urinary stress incontinence (AUSI), to use it to determine the frequency of AUSI in women with RA, and to identify the cognitive, behavioral, and psychological coping strategies used by these women to deal with incontinence.

Methods. A screening tool concerning AUSI was validated by comparing self-reported incidences of AUSI with clinical evaluation. Questionnaires regarding presence of AUSI and cognitive, behavioral, and psychological coping strategies were sent to 750 women clinically diagnosed with RA.

Results. Of the 262 respondents (35% response rate), 21% had characteristics of AUSI, a rate similar to general population studies. Coping strategies varied depending on whether the women were at home or away from home and whether the women were alone or with others.

Conclusions. There is a need for women with incontinence and the health care workers who serve them to be educated about AUSI and its treatments.

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