New Views on Incontinence

New Views on Incontinence

  • On June 23, 2008
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The website Continencenurse.net have just published ten facts that every nurse should know about Incontinence, these are based around recent research and in some cases challenge long held beliefs. We thought some of these may be useful to patients and nurses who visit this site:

1. Incontinence is not a normal outcome of ageing.

The inability to control urine is one of the most unpleasant and distressing problems from which a person can suffer, often causing isolation, depression and physiological problems. Urinary incontinence is NOT part of the normal aging process but it IS a sign of an underlying problem that requires careful assessment.

2. Patients are more likely to discuss incontinence problems, symptoms and treatments with a nurse than with a doctor.

The widespread stigma around patients around incontinence places a greater burden on nurses to introduce the topic of bladder control. Nurses understand the best ways to initiate a dialogue with patients, put them at ease, and encourage them to talk about symptoms, related issues and lifestyle changes. They can offer significant help to their patients in overcoming their reluctance to discuss bladder control problems — after all, in a recent poll, nurses were named the health care professionals most trusted by the public.

3. Incontinence can often be cured or improved with simple lifestyle changes.

Many people with symptoms of urinary incontinence (UI) or overactive bladder (OAB, symptoms of which include urinary urgency, frequency and frequent trips to the bathroom at night) find their symptoms improve as a response to changes in their behaviour, environment, or lifestyle. New skills, habits, and strategies for preventing UI and lifestyle changes, such as smoking cessation, weight reduction, dietary and fluid intake changes, bowel regulation, bladder retraining, and pelvic floor muscle exercises are all included.

4. Kegel exercises work and should be encouraged for men and women.

Also known as pelvic floor exercises, Kegels can significantly improve various types of incontinence in men and women. It is important for people to know about Kegel exercises because they are a type of simple, inexpensive, self-care that really works. Up to 80% of the incontinent population can benefit from Kegel exercises.

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