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Urinary and Faecal Incontinence: Point Prevalence and Predictors in a University Hospital

Frailty Service, Department of Geriatric and Stroke Medicine, University Hospital Galway, Newcastle Rd, Galway City H91 YR71, Ireland
Physiotherapy Department, Cork University Hospital, Wilton, Cork City T12 DC4A, Ireland
Centre for Gerontology and Rehabilitation, University College Cork, St Finbarrs Hospital, Douglas road, Cork City T12 XH60, Ireland
Clinical Research Facility Galway, National University of Ireland, Galway, Costello Rd, Galway City H91 V4AY, Ireland
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(2), 194;
Received: 16 December 2018 / Revised: 6 January 2019 / Accepted: 8 January 2019 / Published: 11 January 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Efficient Use of Acute Hospital Services for Older People)
PDF [645 KB, uploaded 11 January 2019]


Incontinence is common and associated with adverse outcomes. There are insufficient point prevalence data for incontinence in hospitals. We evaluated the prevalence of urinary (UI) and faecal incontinence (FI) and their predictors among inpatients in an acute university hospital on a single day. Continence status was recorded using the modified Barthel Index (BI). Baseline characteristics, Clinical Frailty Scale (CFS) and ward type were recorded. In all, 435 patients were assessed, median age 72 ± 23 years and 53% were male. The median CFS score was 5 ± 3. The point prevalence of UI was 26% versus 11% for FI. While UI and FI increased with age, to 35.2% and 21.1% respectively for those ≥85, age was not an independent predictor. Incontinence also increased with frailty; CFS scores were independently associated with both UI (p = 0.006) and FI (p = 0.03), though baseline continence status was the strongest predictor. Patients on orthopaedic wards had the highest prevalence of incontinence. Continence assessments were available for only 11 (2%) patients. UI and FI are common conditions affecting inpatients; point prevalence increases with age and frailty status. Despite this, few patients receive comprehensive continence assessments. More awareness of its high prevalence is required to ensure incontinence is adequately managed in hospitals. View Full-Text
Keywords: urinary; faecal; incontinence; prevalence; hospital; inpatient urinary; faecal; incontinence; prevalence; hospital; inpatient

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Condon, M.; Mannion, E.; Molloy, D.W.; O’Caoimh, R. Urinary and Faecal Incontinence: Point Prevalence and Predictors in a University Hospital. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16, 194.

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