Urinary Incontinence & Work – Nurses

Urinary Incontinence & Work – Nurses

In a recent edition of Research Review, you can read about  Urinary incontinence and work productivity in the nursing and midwifery workforce. Heather Pierce,  from the University of Technology and Westmead Hospital, Sydney, NSW  discussed the topic of Urinary incontinence and work productivity in the nursing and midwifery workforce at the Continence Foundation of Australia 26th National Conference on Incontinence – 2017 held recently in Sydney.

‘The following is  a summary of the presentation:

The goal of this Australian study was to investigate associations between UI and work productivity in female nurses and midwives.

Respondents from 3 urban hospitals were surveyed to determine prevalence and severity of UI symptoms and storage LUTS. Workplace impairment was determined using questions from the Work LimitationsQuestionnaire. UI was found in 48.1% of the 322 participants (77% slight, 23% moderate).

In comparison to participants with slight or no UI, those with moderate UI symptoms and storage LUTS had elevated risks of time management impairment (OR 5.76: 95% CI; 1.22, 27.20) and concentration impairment (OR 11.11: 2.14, 57.74) in an analysis adjusted for age, obesity, back pain, anxiety, depression and pelvic organ prolapse.


This work was part of a study, ‘Fit for the Future’, in nurses and midwives as a workforce group. This piece of research focused on how nurses and midwives were affected by urinary symptoms during their working hours.

Staff with moderate or worse UI were significantly more likely to have reduced concentration and were 5.7 times more likely to report reduced work productivity when compared to nurses with slight urinary incontinence. Of most concern was the association between urinary incontinence and leaving the workforce. The implications of this study are interesting – given the phenomena of nurses being unable to toilet when they may need to and often developing a large capacity bladder that may not empty completely. Workplaces need to consider toilet availability and bladder rehabilitation strategies as that may assist in keeping nurses and midwives in the profession longer.’

Research Review Australia provides clinical research updates.  Covering top 10 research studies with commentary by well-known Australian experts. They are a great tool to help nurses keep up to date. Reviews are sent by email and cost nothing to subscribe. Subscribe online at www.researchreview.com.au or send an email to Trish (our database administrator) [email protected]To download your copy login into your Research Review account. You can register for an account at www.researchreview.com.au or send an email to Trish (our database administrator) [email protected]


The thoughts of this blog are of the individual writer and not necessarily those of the Nurses for Nurses Network. To read our full disclaimer click here >>


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