Lower urinary tract symptoms in women—A common but neglected problem

Authors

  • Christine Bradway PhD, CRNP,

    (Assistant Professor of Gerontological Nursing and Director of Gerontology Nurse Practitioner Program), Corresponding author
    1. School of Nursing, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
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  • Karin S. Coyne PhD, MPH,

    (Senior Research Scientist)
    1. Center for Health Outcomes, United BioSource Corporation, Bethesda, Maryland
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  • Debra Irwin PhD, MSPH,

    (Research Assistant Professor)
    1. Department of Epidemiology, University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina
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  • Zoe Kopp RN, MPH, PhD

    (Senior Director Outcomes Research)
    1. Pfizer Inc., Outcomes Research, New York, New York
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Christine Bradway, PhD, CRNP, School of Nursing, University of Pennsylvania, Claire M. Fagin Hall, 418 Curie Boulevard, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6096.
Tel: 215-573-3051; Fax: 215-573-7496;
E-mail: cwb@nursing.upenn.edu

Abstract

Purpose: The purpose of this review is to provide nurse practitioners (NPs) an understanding of female lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS).

Data sources: Scientific literature including articles on epidemiology, assessment, impact on quality of life (QoL), treatment barriers, and management.

Conclusions: Female LUTS are common and adversely affect QoL. Nevertheless, the social stigma prevents many women from seeking treatment, and healthcare providers often lack adequate time to inquire about bladder health. Although LUTS are not life threatening, the impact is tremendous, and there is an urgent need for healthcare providers to improve management of chronic conditions.

Implications for practice: NPs should play a role in driving this response by increasing awareness of LUTS, taking the lead in examining barriers to treatment, and providing long-term support to patients.

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