Hypothesis / aims of study
Continence problems among young people are well known, but difficult to quantify and little described in the literature. A poll to assess continence problems among young people would identify needs and possible actions to support and help them overcome their continence problems for improved quality of life. One key question is: “How can continence advisors with limited resources reach the patient, establish effective cooperation and dialogue during the meeting with the patient and facilitate curing?”
Study design, materials and methods
Two individual polls within nine years assessing micturition and toileting habits among young people, 13-19 years old, were conducted. In total, the polls included 632 and 621 respondents respectively, 49% boys and 51% girls, were contacted and all responded to a given questionnaire. Ethical guidelines were followed and supervised by medical experts. Medical and statistical expertise for evaluation was provided.
Interpretation of results
Selected country regulations and recommendations state:
− “the patient and his/her parents/family/care-givers are informed and participate”
− “the patient shall be given clear (understandable) information about his/her health conditions and what treatment methods are available.”
Verbal communication alone might not always provide understanding about the symptoms and possible treatment methods and it is very important for young people that adults participate in the treatment. Visual materials using pictures can be very valuable in helping interact effectively with the young patient. The pictures make it easier for the patient to understand his/her anatomy and the individual bladder training program, as well as helping them participate actively in the treatment. The pictures have many times been the entry to a good bladder training program that has provided successful results for the patient.
In addition to the study a booklet to identify bladder problems was developed as a guide in communication with the young people and care-givers to create a dialogue about the problem and possible solutions and therapies. To facilitate dialogue graphic pictures show various situations when they may experience continence problems. It also presents a structured way to help them solve their problems.
With this method, the time meeting the patient has become shorter and increased understanding and motivation in the patient was observed. This saves time for both the patient and the continence adviser.
• Most children and young people visiting a continence clinic because of various urinary problems do so because their parents have asked for help. Only a limited number of young people are not self-motivated, but supported by their parents, they come to the clinic at the given time.
• If routines are developed early, continence problems among young people can hopefully be prevented at adult age.
• The toilet environment plays a major role in maintaining good micturition habits.