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Prevalence of urinary incontinence in women with spinal cord injury

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STUDY DESIGN: Cross-sectional study.

OBJECTIVES: There is a knowledge gap on urinary incontinence in women with spinal cord injury. Hence, the aim of this study was to determine the prevalence and conditions associated with urinary incontinence in this population.

SETTING: Clinic for Spinal Cord Injuries, Rigshospitalet, Denmark.

METHODS: Women with a spinal cord injury between September 1999 and August 2016, who attended a consultation in our clinic during August 2010-August 2016, were included. Data were obtained from an electronic medical record database, in which standardized questionnaires were filled out by the treating physician during the consultation. Data regarding the injury, bladder function, mobility, spousal/cohabitation status, and quality of life were obtained from the most recently filled-out questionnaires.

RESULTS: Of the 609 included women, 299 (49%) experienced urinary incontinence: 27% daily, 13% weekly, and 9% monthly. The odds of urinary incontinence increased if the woman used a wheelchair permanently (odds ratio (OR) 2.16, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.24-3.77), needed aids to walk (OR 1.73, 95% CI 1.08-2.76), and if the woman's spousal/cohabitation status was unmarried/not living with a partner (OR 1.60, 95% CI 1.11-2.32). Conversely, the odds of urinary incontinence decreased if the woman used an indwelling catheter (OR 0.35, 95% CI 0.18-0.67) compared with normal bladder-emptying method. Finally, incontinence was associated with decreased quality of life on the general, physical, and emotional domain.

CONCLUSIONS: Urinary incontinence is a prevalent problem in women with spinal cord injury, affecting half of the population, and it is associated with impaired mobility, unmarried/non-cohabiting status, and reduced quality of life.

Original languageEnglish
JournalSpinal Cord
Volume56
Issue number12
Pages (from-to)1124-1133
Number of pages10
ISSN1362-4393
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2018

ID: 56113750