Study Suggests Prompted Voiding to Manage Incontinence in Elderly Patients

January 07, 2014 2 min read

Previous research has shown that prompted voiding is the most effective technique for incontinence management. Caregivers encourage patients to use the bathroom on a regular schedule, which teaches the person to know when they need to empty their bladder. This helps reduce the frequency of incontinence accidents, amount of adult diapers used, and labor efforts of nurses and caregivers. This technique is commonly used with people with limited mobility or impaired cognitive abilities caused by dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.

Results from a new Hong Kong study emphasized the effectiveness and success of using prompted voiding to manage incontinence. The study, the first of its kind in Hong Kong, was conducted between January 2011 and July 2013.

“When prompted by staff to regularly go to the washroom, the elderly went a long way towards managing their urinary incontinence problem and were able to enhance the quality of their life,” said Professor Claudia Lai, School of Nursing (SN) of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) and lead author of the study said in a press release.

Urinary incontinence is a common condition among elderly adults in nursing homes. Rates of occurrence have increased from 23.3% in 1992 to 54.1% in 2009 in Hong Kong, according to a survey conducted by the University of Hong Kong. Residents are usually given adult diapers, but this often leads to diaper rashes, urinary tract infections, and a lower self-esteem.

Professor Lai and her colleagues randomly assigned 52 elderly residents from five nursing homes to a prompted voiding (PV) therapy group and a normal incontinence care group. Results showed that the urinary incontinence rate among those in the PV group decreased from 72.6% to 58.7%, while the rate for the control group increased from 66% to 77.6%.

This study shows that nursing homes and living assisted facilities could benefit in using prompted voiding as a behavioral strategy for managing incontinence in their residents.

“…Staff at the participating nursing homes acknowledged the effectiveness of the PV strategy and regarded it as an alternative solution for managing urinary incontinence. The attitude of the staff towards urinary incontinence among the elderly also changed after the training,” Lai said.


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