Dr Ostaszkiewicz is an established leader in the nursing care of frail older people with continence care needs. Her research program spans three core areas:
(i) Improving the quality of fundamental care for older people with continence care needs.
(ii) Building the capacity of the aged care and continence care workforce to deliver evidence-based continence care.
(iii) The development and evaluation of evidence-based knowledge translation resources about continence care.
Recent research led by Dr Ostaszkiewicz resulted in a new paradigm for the management of incontinence among care-dependent older adults in nursing homes, termed the ‘Dignity in Continence Care Framework’. The framework privileges dignity as the main goal of care in the context of care-dependence and intractable incontinence. In 2018 she was awarded a Translating Research into Practice Fellowship from the Medical Future Fund Next Generation Clinical Researchers Program to trial an intervention based on the framework. She is also developing a suite of instruments to identify and measure violations to the dignity of care-dependent older people during continence care interactions. This body of research has resulted in the identification of attributes of dignity-protective continence care.
Dr Ostaszkiewicz is a longstanding and active member of the International Continence Society, the Continence Foundation of Australia, the Australian College of Nursing, the International Learning Collaborative, and is a founding member of the Continence Nurses Society Australia. Her expertise has been sought by the International Consultation on Incontinence, and the Royal Commission into Quality and Safety in Aged Care. She recently contributed to a White Paper on Ethical Considerations in Caring for Older Adults with Urinary Incontinence for the International Continence Society. In 2020, the Society nominated her among the top 50 researchers and clinicians whose research has shaped the treatment of incontinence and pelvic floor disorders over the last 50+ years.
Dr Joan Ostaszkiewicz declared on the Wednesday 2nd March 2022 that they did not have any existing or known future financial relationships or affiliations to disclose (NONE).
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