Scientific Letter

The prevalence and effects of urinary incontinence in women working in the Universitas Academic Hospital, Bloemfontein

Veronique C. Bailey, Meenakshi Bakaya, Siyabulela H. Jada, Kekeletso E. Khalanyane, Wilhelm J. Steinberg, Gina Joubert, Almereau Prollius
African Journal of Primary Health Care & Family Medicine | Vol 2, No 1 | a99 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/phcfm.v2i1.99 | © 2010 Veronique C. Bailey, Meenakshi Bakaya, Siyabulela H. Jada, Kekeletso E. Khalanyane, Wilhelm J. Steinberg, Gina Joubert, Almereau Prollius | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 22 June 2009 | Published: 11 June 2010

About the author(s)

Veronique C. Bailey, School of Medicine, University of the Free State, South Africa
Meenakshi Bakaya, School of Medicine, University of the Free State, South Africa
Siyabulela H. Jada, School of Medicine, University of the Free State, South Africa
Kekeletso E. Khalanyane, School of Medicine, University of the Free State, South Africa
Wilhelm J. Steinberg, Department of Family Medicine, University of the Free State, South Africa
Gina Joubert, Department of Biostatistics, University of the Free State, South Africa
Almereau Prollius, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University of the Free State, South Africa


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Abstract

Urinary incontinence affects 30% of women by the time they reach 50 years of age and continues to increase thereafter. Symptoms vary in severity and adversely impact on the physical and psychosocial wellbeing of affected individuals. By means of a self-administered questionnaire, the study investigated the prevalence of urinary incontinence and its effects on the quality of life in women working at the Universitas Academic Hospital in Bloemfontein in 2007. Pregnant women were not included in the study. One hundred and nine questionnaires were analysed. Participants were 24–62 years of age (mean age 44.4 years). Of these, 27.5% reported symptoms of urinary incontinence. Only one affected individual was younger than 30 years. Three-quarters of affected women rated their symptoms as light to moderate. In 34.6% of the affected women, the condition did not interfere with everyday activities at all, but 11.5% reported severe interference. Information regarding urinary incontinence, precautionary measures, such as Kegel exercises, and its associated psychosocial consequences, should be disseminated to women of all ages.

Keywords

effects; psychosocial well-being; quality of life; urinary incontinence; women

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