Clinical Epidemiology and Ageing

[Mirror survey of patients with urge urinary incontinence and healthcare professionals].

Gamé X, Piollet-Calmette I, Descazeaud A, Hermieu J-F, Fatton B, Paillaud E, Bellessort A, Coloby P Prog Urol. 2021;31(12):747-754.

BACKGROUND: This survey assessed how much of a taboo surrounds urge or mixed urinary incontinence (UI), through questions to affected patients and healthcare professionals using online questionnaires, with the objective to contrast the patients' perceptions with that of the doctors.

METHODS: This quantitative study was preceded by a qualitative phase carried out with general practitioners, specialists, and UI patients. Following these phases, questionnaires were made available on the internet. They covered questions pertaining to perceptions of UI, degree of embarrassment and its consequences, patient-doctor relationship, and treatments.

RESULTS: Overall, 310 UI patients of male or female gender participated in the study, as did 101 general practitioners, 50 urologists, and 30 gynecologists. The analysis revealed that 60% of patients felt embarrassment about UI, the condition representing for them a taboo topic similar to cancer. This taboo was shown to be seen further enhanced by doctors. UI was associated with a loss of self-esteem (51%) and restriction to daily life (44%). The patients' answers revealed that UI was only brought up by doctors in 6% of cases, whereas the patient was the first to bring it up in 55%, primarily with their general practitioner (80%). Thus, in 4 out of 10 cases, the issue was not addressed; 49% of patients stated they did not discuss their condition with their partner and 33% did not discuss it with anybody.

CONCLUSION: UI is still a major taboo and we have a long way to go to change attitudes.


MeSH terms: Delivery of Health Care; Female; Humans; Male; Quality of Life; Surveys and Questionnaires; Urinary Incontinence; Urinary Incontinence, Urge
DOI: 10.1016/j.purol.2021.01.010