Red Book

Urinary incontinence

Age range chart

0-9 10-14 15-19 20-24 25-29 30-34 35-39 40-44 45-49 50-54 55-59 60-64 65-69 70-79 >80

No evidence for screening general population

There is no evidence for screening for urinary incontinence in the general population. Instead, GPs should case-find those at higher risk (B).

Within the general population, up to 19% of children,1 13% of men and 37% of women may be affected by some form of urinary incontinence.2 While urinary incontinence is most common in women and increases with age, bedwetting (enuresis) is common in children (5.5% of children also report daytime wetting).1 In men, uncomplicated lower urinary tract symptoms do not appear to be associated with an increased risk of prostate cancer.3 Of those sitting in a GP waiting room, 65% of women and 30% of men report some type of urinary incontinence, yet only 31% of these people report having sought help from a health professional.4Primary care professionals are in a position to take a more proactive approach to incontinence treatment by asking about urinary symptoms in at-risk groups during routine appointments. There remains considerable health decrement due to urinary incontinence in those not receiving help in a population readily accessible to primary care services.5

Urinary incontinence: Identifying risk

Table 13.1

Urinary incontinence: Identifying risk

Urinary incontinence: Preventive interventions

Table 13.2

Urinary incontinence: Preventive interventions

The Continence Foundation of Australia (CFA) has a helpline available for consumers and healthcare professionals at 1800 33 00 66. Consumers can ask for specific help or for contact details of their nearest continence professional. The CFA website has many evidence-based resources available for consumers

This event attracts CPD points and can be self recorded

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