Incontinence: Managed or mismanaged in hospital settings?
Article first published online: 21 NOV 2008
© 2008 Blackwell Publishing Asia Pty Ltd
International Journal of Nursing Practice
Volume 14, Issue 6, pages 495–502, December 2008
How to Cite
Ostaszkiewicz, J., O'Connell, B. and Millar, L. (2008), Incontinence: Managed or mismanaged in hospital settings?. International Journal of Nursing Practice, 14: 495–502. doi: 10.1111/j.1440-172X.2008.00725.x
- Issue published online: 21 NOV 2008
- Article first published online: 21 NOV 2008
- Accepted for publication August 2008
This paper reports the results of a survey of inpatients to determine the prevalence of their continence status and the overall management of their incontinence. A survey of 447 hospitalized adults was conducted and an audit of their medical records. Twenty-two per cent of patients reported urinary incontinence, 10% faecal incontinence, 78% nocturia, 23% urinary urgency and 11% trouble passing urine. Pre-existing bladder and bowel problems were reported by 34% and 26% of patients respectively. Sixty per cent of patients were using a continence product or device. There was a lack of documentation in the medical records about patients' continence status and about their pre-admission bowel and bladder status. The findings reveal that the management of incontinence in acute and subacute settings is suboptimal. There is a need to raise clinical awareness about incontinence in hospital settings and to implement a structured approach to its assessment and management. Furthermore, as the costs associated with the management or mismanagement of incontinence in hospital settings are not fully understood, there is a need for further research on this issue.