Urge incontinence: The patient's perspective JOURNAL OF WOMENS HEALTH Brown, J. S., Subak, L. L., Gras, J., Brown, B. A., Kuppermann, M., Posner, S. F. 1998; 7 (10): 1263–69


Urge incontinence has a profound effect on the day-to-day lives of women. The purpose of this study was to identify specific aspects of functioning and well-being affected by urge incontinence or mixed incontinence with a primary urge component. We conducted six focus groups of 65 racially and age diverse, community-dwelling women with urge incontinence. Transcripts of the focus groups were quantitatively analyzed for word use frequency with QSR NUD*IST software. Demographics, symptomatology, and the impact of incontinence on daily activities and feelings were assessed by questionnaire. Participants in the focus groups were on average 62 years of age; 52% were nonwhite, and 26% had a high school or less education. In the three identified broad domains, 52% of domain-related words were associated with feelings, 40% with activities, and 8% with relationships. Frequently identified references were bathroom availability (24%), loss of control (14%), anxiety (11%), and sleep disturbance (10%). Women under the age of 70 compared with older women more commonly identified feeling unattractive and low self-esteem (12% versus 2%, p < 0.007) and adverse effects on dating and sexual activity (45% versus 0%, p < 0.02). The effect of incontinence on quality of life correlated with frequency, nocturia, and pad use (Kendall's tau beta 0.02-0.32, p < 0.05). Urge incontinence affects many quality of life issues and contributes to limitation of activities, loss of control, and negative self-perception. Focus groups of diverse women with urge incontinence symptomatology are useful in understanding these effects.

View details for DOI 10.1089/jwh.1998.7.1263

View details for Web of Science ID 000078241700017

View details for PubMedID 9929859