(July 30, 2013) A paper published by the The Cameron Institute and The Canadian Continence Foundation in the current issue of The American Journal of Medicine and Medical Sciences concludes that urinary incontinence is very prevalent amongst Canadian women who neither properly understand the condition and its causes, nor recognize this as a significant problem, thus causing delays in care-seeking. In a survey of a community sample of Canadian women the research identified barriers to health-care seeking.
Women aged 20 or more were selected randomly from the community and interviewed about inappropriate urine loss within the previous 12 months. Attitudes towards health care-seeking and average waiting intervals before medical encounter were also studied. With a response rate of 92%, 36.5% women admitted to having UI. Of this number, 76.5% considered themselves “incontinent” because of amount and/or frequency of leakage; only 55.8% sought medical advice, on average, 14 months post onset.
Several reasons for not seeking help were identified. One-third of respondents did not know the causes of UI; 63.4% thought it was normal in old age, and 12.9% believed UI could not be cured or improved. Only 51.6% considered UI as any amount or frequency of uncontrolled urine loss.
The study concluded that UI is prevalent, poorly-understood and under-reported in Canadian women because of inadequate public knowledge with consequent delay in management. This illustrates the need for a community-based information campaign to assist in the education of both patients and healthcare providers and help plan for the social and medical care of incontinent women.
For further information, please contact:
Ms. Jacky Cahill
The Canadian Continence Foundation
705-931-4488 (direct line)