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Overactive Bladder in Women

Palmer, Mary H. PhD, RN-BC, FAAN, AGSF; Willis-Gray, Marcella G. MD

AJN The American Journal of Nursing: April 2017 - Volume 117 - Issue 4 - p 34–41
doi: 10.1097/01.NAJ.0000515207.69721.94
Feature Articles

Overactive bladder is a term used to describe a group of lower urinary tract symptoms that are prevalent in women, particularly as they age. Those with overactive bladder often experience related physical and psychological symptoms or conditions and report a poorer quality of life than other women. Many factors that increase the risk of developing overactive bladder are modifiable; therefore, lifestyle and behavioral interventions are first-line treatments. More treatment options are becoming available to women as research provides new information about the underlying pathophysiology of overactive bladder. Nurses play a major role in its screening, assessment, and management in women, many of whom do not seek help and try to self-manage symptoms, leading to a continuing cycle of unpredictable urgency and incontinence.

An evidence-based review of the screening, assessment, and management of overactive bladder in women—many of whom do not seek help for the condition and try to self-manage its symptoms, which may inadvertently worsen them.

Mary H. Palmer is the Helen W. and Thomas L. Umphlet Distinguished Professor in Aging in the School of Nursing at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Marcella G. Willis-Gray is a fellow in female pelvic medicine and reconstructive pelvic surgery in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology in the School of Medicine at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Contact author: Mary H. Palmer, The authors and planners have disclosed no potential conflicts of interest, financial or otherwise.

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