Table 1 summarizes demographic information on the four age groups. The sample was diverse with respect to race, ethnicity, education, socioeconomic status, physical/health conditions, LUTS status, geography (urban/rural), and language, including focus groups conducted in Spanish. 82.9% of participants reported experiencing at least one LUTS. It is not known if participants sought treatment. Table 2 summarizes reported LUTS on the LUTS Tool questionnaire (3) among adult participants. X % reported experiencing at least one LUTS. It is not known if participants sought treatment.
Women exhibited limited understanding of bladder health and function, with assumptions and beliefs shaped by personal experience and hearsay from friends, family, television commercials, etc. Except for the rare occasion when women had input from a medical professional, notions about bladder health and function were characterized by uncertainty, tentativeness, and unconfirmed impressions. Women speculated on (a) the function of the urinary tract system in cleansing or flushing the bodily system of impurities and toxins, (b) the functional relationships between and among the kidneys, bladder, urethra, vagina, and pelvic floor and (c) the impact on bladder function of medications for chronic conditions. Women’s assumptions and beliefs about bladder health were framed within a “cause and effect” perspective, covering a wide array of habits/behaviors (e.g. eating and hydration habits, “holding urination”, exercise), while conjecturing about the physiological mechanisms through which such practices promote or deter bladder health. Finally, there was agreement on the importance of bladder friendly habits and the inadvisability of potentially harmful practices. This was accompanied by an assumption that bladder problems could be prevented by developing community-based programs for educating women about bladder health and function, encouraging women to practice healthy bladder habits, eliminating taboos about discussing bladder health, and empowering women to speak out about their bladder-related experiences and concerns.