Hypothesis / aims of study
Urinary incontinence (UI) is defined by the International Continence Society (ICS) as “the complaint of any involuntary loss of urine” . Although male IU is underestimated, the prevalence of IU increases with age in both men and women. It is a symptom associated with human and social implications, such as discomfort, shame and loss of self-confidence. In the elderly, IU may be an important factor of institutionalization . This study aimed to determine the prevalence of IU and associated factors among older men living in the community.
Study design, materials and methods
This is an observational cross-sectional study. Were included in the study men aged 65 or older, residents for at least 12 months in the area of the health care center. UI was assessed using International Consultation on Continence Questionnaire - Short Form (ICIQ-SF). The ICIQ-SF is a simple, brief, and self-administered questionnaire, capable of quickly assess the impact of IU in the quality of life and quantify the urine loss of both men and women. Sociodemographic questions were also collected during home visit. The patients signed the informed consent form, and the study was approved by the Ethical Committee.
Sample consisted of 128 older men. IU was identified among 15.4% participants. Of these, 9.6% were classified as very severe UI,19.1% as severe UI, 38% as moderate UI and 33.3% as mild UI. Urgency was the most prevalent type of UI (16.4%). Nocturia was identified in 1.6% of this population. Regarding social aspects, most of the continent and incontinent participants lived with their relatives (46% and 50% respectively), 1.1% of the continent and none of the incontinent lived on their own. Need for care was reported by 85.7% of the incontinent participants and by 69% of the continent ones. When asked about their perception of health, most older men considered as average (50% of the incontinents and 37.9% of the continents). Only 7.1% of incontinents and 2.3% of the continents were bedridden during the previous week.
Interpretation of results
The prevalence of UI among older men living in the community was considered high, showing that male UI, while currently neglected, is common. This corroborates with previous studies in this population. Most incontinent participants reported the need for help with general activities, evidencing the impact UI has in the daily life.