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A Comparison of the Characteristics of Incontinent and Continent Stroke Patients in a Rehabilitation Program


  • Jan Coleman Gross MSN RNC CS

    Consultant, Doctoral Candidate, Corresponding author
    1. Cardinal Hill Rehabilitation Hospital in Lexington, KY
    2. University of Kentucky School of Nursing in Lexington.
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106 Cherry Drive, Harrodsburg, KY 40330.


The characteristics of incontinent stroke patients who regained continence by the time of their discharge from an acute rehabilitation program were compared with those of patients who remained incontinent. Of the 90 patients who met the inclusion criteria on admission to the program, 45 were continent at discharge. Compared with those who regained continence, the subjects who remained incontinent at discharge took longer to be transferred to the rehabilitation program after the onset of stroke, had lower total Functional Independence Measure (FIM™) instrument scores at admission and discharge, had more episodes of urinary incontinence (UI) during the first 24 hours after their admission, and had smaller increases in functional scores during rehabilitation. When the time from the onset of stroke was controlled, a subsample of those who remained incontinent scored lower only on the social cognition subscale 14–18 days after the stroke, whereas 27–30 days after their stroke their scores on the sphincter control and self-care subscales were lower. UI was not associated with patients' destinations at discharge. The results of this study provide more information about UI after stroke and give direction for future research.