• bladder emptying;
  • hip arthroplasty;
  • hip fractures;
  • nursing;
  • patient experiences;
  • qualitative research;
  • urinary catheterization



To describe patients' experiences of bladder emptying and urinary catheterization in connection with hip surgery.


The capacity of bladder emptying in connection with hip surgery is affected by pain, medication and confinement to bed. In connection with such surgery urinary catheterization is often performed, either intermittent or indwelling. Hip surgery patients' experiences of urinary catheterization and urination have not been studied before.


A qualitative study with descriptive design was conducted among hip surgery patients.


Thirty face-to-face interviews were conducted from October 2009–March 2010 and analysed with inductive qualitative content analysis.


The main category ‘An issue but of varying impact’ illustrated the patients' experiences of bladder emptying and urinary catheterization. Five generic categories were identified: ability to urinate, catheter is convenient, bothersome bladder emptying, intrusion on dignity and concern about complications. Irrespectively of whether the patients were able to urinate or were catheterized, the bladder emptying situation was not as usual. It was described as uncomplicated and experienced as being positive if the patients were able to urinate by themselves or when catheterization was experienced as convenient. Some patients did not want to be catheterized, approving it only reluctantly. Independently of the method for bladder emptying, the patients in our study would choose the same method next time.


The patients undergoing hip surgery seem to experience bladder emptying as an issue but of varying impact. Both bladder emptying through micturition and bladder emptying through catheterization are described in positive and negative terms.