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Nursing Research and Practice
Volume 2011, Article ID 671302, 5 pages
Clinical Study

Urinary Incontinence in Hospitalised Elderly Patients: Do Nurses Recognise and Manage the Problem?

1Lindenhofspital, Bremgartenstrasse 117, 3012 Bern, Switzerland
2Institute of Applied Nursing Science, University of Applied Sciences of St. Gallen, Rosenbergstrasse 22, 9001 St. Gallen, Switzerland
3Institute of Nursing Science, University of Basel, Bernoullistrasse 28, 4956 Basel, Switzerland

Received 15 July 2010; Accepted 13 February 2011

Academic Editor: P. M. Davidson

Copyright © 2011 Sabin Zürcher et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This study examined to what extent nurses recognize urinary incontinence (UI) in elderly hospital patients, what UI interventions nurses realize, and if elderly inpatients are willing to raise the topic during their hospital stay. A convenience sample of 78 elderly inpatients in a Swiss hospital were screened for UI and asked if they were willing to be questioned about UI during hospitalisation. Nursing records were analysed as to whether UI had been recognized, and to collect data on interventions. Forty-one patients (51%) screened positive for UI, of whom 10 (24%) were identified as such in their nursing records. The single intervention documented was the use of incontinence pads. Only 5 patients preferred not to be asked about UI at hospital. Nurses in the study hospital should systematically ask elderly patients about UI and provide them with information on interventions.