Patient experiences of bladder problems following stroke
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Patient experiences of bladder problems following stroke

Maria Pilcher Team lead, Clinical education and development, NHS Lothian, Liberton Hospital, Edinburgh
Juliet MacArthur Lead practitioner in research, NHS Lothian, Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh

Aim To elicit the experiences of patients with bladder problems following stroke in one dedicated stroke unit and to share these findings with the multidisciplinary stroke team.

Method A structured questionnaire was completed by 40 inpatients who had an identified bladder problem, had had a stroke more than two weeks previously and were able to give informed consent. Following analysis of the results, a focus group discussion was held with the multidisciplinary stroke team.

Findings The urinary symptom most frequently reported by patients two weeks following stroke was urgency (65%, n=26), followed by leakage of urine (57%, n=23), frequency (37%, n=15) and nocturia (37%, n=15). Depression and feelings of embarrassment were common. Patients were least satisfied with the use of bedpans for toileting purposes and a urethral catheter as a method of containment. The need for more proactive patient-focused continence management was identified by the multidisciplinary stroke team during the focus group discussion.

Conclusion Patient-focused management of urinary symptoms is important to alleviate concern, distress and discomfort, and reduce the potential effect that these symptoms may have on the patient’s ability to participate in therapeutic activities that promote recovery.

Nursing Standard. 26, 36, 39-46. doi: 10.7748/ns2012.

Peer review

This article has been subject to double blind peer review

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