Self-reported urinary incontinence and factors associated with symptom severity in community dwelling adult women: Implications for women's health promotion

Vidya Seshan*, Joshua Kanaabi Muliira

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Urinary incontinence (UI) continues to affect millions of women worldwide and those living in resource poor settings seem to be more affected. The purpose of this study was to determine the prevalence of UI and factors associated with UI symptom severity (UISS) among women in a selected district in India.Methods: A cross-sectional design was used to collect data from a sample of 598 community dwelling women in the age range of 20 to 60 years. Data was collected using a questionnaire survey of participants who were found in their homes.Results: The prevalence of UI was 33.8% and the majority of women had negative attitudes about the condition. For instance most women were in agreement with statements such as: UI cannot be prevented or cured (98%); women with UI are cursed (97%); women are not supposed to tell anyone about the problem (90%) and others. Of the 202 women with self-reported UI, the majority reported having moderate UISS (78%) and others rated the symptoms as mild (22%). The woman's age at first birth (p<.01) was negatively associated with UISS, while the number of pregnancies (p<.01) and weight of the largest baby ever delivered (p<.01), were positively associated with UISS. The weight of the largest baby delivered had the strongest impact on predicting UISS.Conclusions: Many community dwelling women are suffering from UI at proportions which warrant significant public health consideration. Therefore public health programs to prevent UI or worsening of symptoms are required and should emphasize health education, because of the pervasive negative attitudes among affected and unaffected women. The predictors reported here can be used to priotize care for affected women and to encourage early uptake of health actions and behaviors that promote pelvic floor strengthening in at risk women who may be reluctant to disclose UI.

Original languageEnglish
Article number16
JournalBMC Women's Health
Volume13
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 8 2013

Keywords

  • Attitude
  • Predictors
  • Prevalence
  • Risk factors
  • Urinary incontinence
  • Women

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology

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