G_CS_43 Guidelines for Urinary Continence Promotion in Adults within Primary Care

To deliver clear integrated management pathways for adults presenting with continence problems.

The algorithms in this document are intended to guide Primary Care Practitioners (physicians and nurses) in assessing patients in the community who have problems with urinary continence. It needs to be recognised that these patients represent only a proportion of patients presenting with Lower Urinary Tract Symptoms (LUTS). The document is therefore not intended as a comprehensive guide to the management of LUTS.

Urinary incontinence is defined by The International Continence Society as:

"The Complaint of any Involuntary Leakage of Urine."
(Abrams et al, 2005)

Incontinence can be a distressing and embarrassing symptom, causing those affected to become isolated and inducing feelings of loneliness and shame (Norton, 1996).

Certain groups of people have an increased risk of experiencing continence difficulties. These include women, those with physical and/or learning disabilities and people with neurological conditions (DH, 2000).

Although not an inevitable part of ageing, older people are frequently more susceptible to the physiological, psychological and pharmacological factors, which may predispose an individual to develop incontinence (Wilkinson et al 2003; Swaffield, 1996).

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