Gender-specific external barriers to seeking care for urinary incontinence
Jan Svihra,1 Jan Luptak,1 Viera Svihrova,2 Dusan Mesko3
1Department of Urology, 2Department of Public Health, 3Department of Sports Medicine, Jessenius School of Medicine, Martin, Slovak Republic
Background: Barriers to seeking care for urinary incontinence are specific, objective, external conditions that prevent incontinence sufferers from seeking treatment. The aim of this study was to compare barriers, gender, and health care disparities in incontinence sufferers.
Methods: Incontinent patients were recruited into a questionnaire-based cross-sectional study. The 14-item Barriers to Incontinence Care Seeking Questionnaire (BICS-Q) and the three-item International Consultation on Incontinence Questionnaire-Urinary Incontinence Short Form (ICIQ-UI SF) were used to evaluate barriers to seeking health care for urinary incontinence.
Results: The representative sample (n = 1014) finally included 567 adults eligible to participate in this study (response rate 55.9%). Of the 147 incontinent males, 93 (63.3%) did not seek care, and of the 420 incontinent females, 282 (67.1%) did not seek care. Untreated males had significantly higher BICS-Q scores than other patients. Risk factors for barriers were obesity (odds ratio 2.13 for females versus 0.83 for males), stress urinary incontinence (1.57 versus 9.38, respectively), and urgency urinary incontinence (2.40 versus 1.75).
Conclusion: The barriers to seeking care for urinary incontinence seem to be gender-specific. Obese females with urgency urinary incontinence and males with stress urinary incontinence were least likely to seek treatment.
Keywords: urinary incontinence, barriers, health behavior, seeking, care
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