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Competence to Provide Urinary Incontinence Care in Taiwan's Nursing Homes: Perceptions of Nurses and Nurse Assistants

Lin, Shu-Yuan; Wang, Ruey-Hsia; Lin, Chiu-Chu; Chiang, Hui-Ying

Journal of Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nursing: March/April 2012 - Volume 39 - Issue 2 - p 187–193
doi: 10.1097/WON.0b013e3182435700

PURPOSE: Nursing staff play an essential role in ensuring the quality of continence care in nursing homes. The purpose of this study was to describe the level of competence (knowledge, attitudes, and practice behaviors) of urinary incontinence (UI) care in nursing home staff in Taiwan.

METHOD: A cross-sectional postal survey was used to gather self-reported data from an island-wide sample of 195 nurses and 99 nurse assistants (NAs) in Taiwan. Participants completed the UI knowledge, the UI attitude, and the practice behaviors of UI care scales.

RESULTS: The level of UI knowledge in nurses was higher than that of NAs, although nurses had less-positive attitudes than NAs. Reported practice behaviors of UI care did not differ between nurses and NAs. Changes of wet clothes, linens, and diapers were the most commonly reported practice behaviors. Information-gathering, physical examination, and pelvic floor muscle exercises were performed less commonly in nursing homes.

CONCLUSIONS: Knowledge and positive attitudes regarding UI need to be improved in both nurses and NAs in nursing homes. Several deficits were found in practice behaviors of UI care. A competency-based education approach is suggested to enable awareness of UI and cultural changes on individual and institutional levels.

Shu-Yuan Lin, PhD, RN, Assistant Professor, College of Nursing, Kaohsiung Medical University, Taiwan.

Ruey-Hsia Wang, PhD, RN, Professor, College of Nursing, Kaohsiung Medical University, Taiwan.

Chiu-Chu Lin, PhD, RN, Associate Professor, College of Nursing, Kaohsiung Medical University, Taiwan.

Hui-Ying Chiang, PhD, RN, Deputy Director, Nursing Department, Chi Mei Medical Center, and Assistant Professor, Department of Nursing, Chang Jung Christian University, Tainan, Taiwan.

Correspondence: Hui-Ying Chiang, PhD, RN, Nursing Department, Chi Mei Medical Center, 901 Chung Hwa Rd, Yung Kang City, Tainan 710, Taiwan (

This work was funded by National Science Council (NSC96-2314-B037-077).

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Copyright © 2012 by the Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nurses Society