Assessment and management of urinary incontinence in women

Urinary incontinence is a common and usually hidden issue that can affect women of all ages. It is often ignored by the patient because of their misconception that incontinence is an inevitable consequence of ageing and their low expectations of successful treatment. There are various types of incontinence, with symptoms that can significantly affect patients' quality of life. This article aims to enhance nurses' understanding of the types of urinary incontinence affecting women, associated risk factors and continence assessment, as well as the initial investigations and conservative treatments that can be instigated by general nurses. It also discusses some of the advanced treatments offered by specialist services. The article emphasises the importance of undertaking a holistic continence assessment to ensure appropriate continence care is provided, and how tailoring this care to the individual can improve adherence to treatment plans.

Nursing standard (Royal College of Nursing (Great Britain) : 1987). 2018 Apr 20 [Epub ahead of print]

Ellie Stewart

Guy's Hospital, Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust, London, England.