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Experiences Related to Urinary Incontinence of Stroke Patients: A Qualitative Descriptive Study

Arkan, Gulcihan; Beser, Ayse; Ozturk, Vesile

Journal of Neuroscience Nursing: February 2018 - Volume 50 - Issue 1 - p 42–47
doi: 10.1097/JNN.0000000000000336

ABSTRACT Introduction: Poststroke urinary incontinence is a common problem, with a prevalence ranging from 32% to 79%. Urinary incontinence after stroke has negative physiological, psychological, and economic effects, which lead to lifestyle changes for both patients and caregivers. Nurses play an important role in preventing and improving incontinence, understanding the experiences of individuals experiencing incontinence, providing healthcare for them, and implementing behavioral therapy methods. The aim of this study was to determine the experience related to urinary incontinence of stroke patients. Methods: In this qualitative descriptive study, using semistructured interviews, 15 participants with urinary incontinence after stroke selected through purposeful sampling were interviewed. Data were collected with a semistructured interview form prepared within the framework of the Health Belief Model. All data were analyzed using content analysis. Results: Three main themes were identified: “perception of urinary incontinence,” “effects of urinary incontinence,” and “management of urinary incontinence.” The respondents explained that urinary incontinence also adversely affected their caregivers. They experienced many daily life and psychological problems because of urinary incontinence. In addition, they made several changes to management urinary incontinence such as limiting fluid intake, changing underwear frequently, using waterproof mattress protectors, applying traditional practice, and taking medicine. Conclusions: This study revealed that stroke patients needed help and support for urinary incontinence management. Nurses should provide information about management and urinary incontinence after stroke.

Questions or comments about this article may be directed to Gulcihan Arkan, MSc RN, at She is a Lecturer, Faculty of Nursing, Public Health Nursing Department, Dokuz Eylul University, Izmir, Turkey.

Ayse Beser, PhD FAAN, is Professor, Faculty of Nursing, Public Health Nursing Department, Koc University, Istanbul, Turkey.

Vesile Ozturk, PhD, is Professor, Faculty of Medicine, Neurology Department, Dokuz Eylul University, Izmir, Turkey.

The first author has contributed to planning, implementing, making analysis of the study, and writing of the article. The second author has contributed to planning, analysis of the study, and writing of the article. The third author has contributed to writing of the article.

This study was presented as a poster at the 6th World Nursing and Healthcare Conference on August 15–17, 2016, in London, United Kingdom, and was awarded the best poster presentation.

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

© 2018 American Association of Neuroscience Nurses