Thursday, July 12, 2007
This presentation is part of : Health Issues for Adult Women
Risk factors, quality of life and health care seeking behaviors of women with urinary stress incontinence
Alice Yuen Loke, PhD, School of Nursing, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong, Hong Kong and Lai-ping Chiu, RN, MSc, ourology unit, tuen Mun Hospital, Tuen Mun, Hong Kong.
Learning Objective #1: identify the risk factors, quality of life, and health care seeking behaviours of women with urinary stress incontinence
Learning Objective #2: develop a health education program for women with urinary incontinence



Aims: This study aimed to determine the risk factors of urinary incontinence of Hong Kong Chinese women, the impacts on their quality of life, their health care seeking behaviours and reasons associated with their delay in health seeking. Methods: This is a case-control study. The cases were women with confirmed urinary incontinence, and the controls were women recruited from the community. The community group was further divided into the symptomatic and continent groups. A self-administered questionnaire was used to assess the possible risks, the severity of symptoms, the quality of life, and health seeking behaviours of women with urinary incontinence. Results: A total of 216 women aged 36-60 were recruited from May to August 2005. There were 91 cases and 125 women from the community (79 symptomatic and 46 continent women). The study results showed that mid-age (46-55), high waist to hip ratio (>0.81), habitual constipation, frequent urinary tract infection, mother with history of UI, parity (≥2) and vaginal delivery (≥2 times) were significant risk factors of urinary incontinence of women. Women with urinary incontinence had the lowest quality of life score than the symptomatic women and the continence women (mean score 87.2, 106.0, and 114.7 respectively, p<0.05).


The study results also showed that 31 women (34.1%) in the case group delayed seeking for help from health care for as long as 1 to 5 years, and 22 (24.2%) for over five years. More than half of the women (n=55, 60.5%) in the cases group did not seek help from health care because their symptoms were not severe enough to seek help.


Conclusion: Women in Hong Kong are suffering from UI without seeking medical care for their urinary problems. Health care professionals should provide health education and professional advice to women in the community on urinary incontinence.