The involuntary loss of urine arises from multiple factors that significantly impact the physical, social, mental, and functional ability of the individual. A common cause of nursing home placement, UI affects a significant portion of long-term care residents and has significant influence on morbidity and health care costs.
Because patients rarely discuss UI with health care providers, the urologic nurse must inquire about self-care practices, incorporate prevention strategies, and assist patients in developing a management plan that fits their individual preferences. A stepwise treatment approach should be utilized, beginning with behavioral therapies, lifestyle modifications, pharmacologic interventions, and lastly, a consultation for surgical options. Through open and sincere communication, individuals struggling with UI will discover that urologic nurses are well prepared to address the underlying causes of UI in a patient-centered and caring fashion.
The author would like to acknowledge Christine Bradway, PhD, CRNP, FAAN, for her contributions toward the development of this article.
Urol Nurs. 2015;35(2):82-86. © 2015 Society of Urologic Nurses and Associates