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Post-stroke urinary incontinence

Authors


  • Disclosure

    None.

Summary

Aim

To provide a comprehensive review of the current evidence on post-stroke urinary incontinence.

Method

An electronic database search was performed to identify relevant studies and review articles related to Urinary Incontinence (UI) in the stroke population between the years 1966 and 2012.

Findings

Urinary incontinence following stroke is a common problem affecting more than one-third of acute stroke patients and persisting in up to a quarter at 1 year. It is well established that this condition is a strong marker of stroke severity and is associated with poorer functional outcomes and increased institutionalisation and mortality rates compared with those who remain continent. Despite evidence linking better outcomes to those patients who regain continence, the results of national audits have demonstrated that the management of UI following stroke is suboptimal, with less than two-thirds of stroke units having a documented plan to promote continence.

Conclusion

Current evidence supports a thorough assessment to categorise the type and severity of post-stroke urinary incontinence. An individually tailored, structured management strategy to promote continence should be employed. This has been associated with better stroke outcomes and should be the aim of all stroke health professionals.

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