Concerned about Nocturia - World Continence Week in Korea
- Campaign Title: The 6th Gold Ribbon Campaign
- Subject: Nocturia prevalence and quality of life in people aged over 40
- Slogan: “Say ‘No’ to Sleep Stealing Nocturia”
To improve public awareness of nocturia and correct misperceptions about nocturia
To increase urologist visits and promote aggressive treatment
Term: June 18th ~ 30th , 2012
There are many global awareness campaigns which inform about a specific disease and encourage treatment such as the Pink Ribbon Campaign (for breast cancer) and the Red Ribbon Campaign (for AIDS). Those campaigns have been conducted in Korea, with great results. However there was no campaign which addressed voiding dysfunction such as incontinence, overactive bladder which is equally important. Because of this, the Korean Continence Society (KCS) and the Korean Urological Association (KUA) decided to launch a campaign to increase public awareness of urological disorders, educate the public, and promote treatment. The initiative was named the Gold Ribbon Campaign, with the color symbolizing the ideal color of healthy urine, and since 2007, the nationwide campaign has been run during the two weeks surrounding World Continence Week (WCW).
The Gold Ribbon Campaign focuses on raising awareness of urological disorders such as overactive bladder, urinary incontinence and urine retention. This year marks the sixth year of the campaign. Under 2012 Gold Ribbon Campaign, a variety of activities were conducted on nocturia, which is experienced by many men but frequently not recognized as a disease requiring treatment.
- Designation of Campaign Week
With the campaign slogan of “Say ‘No’ to Sleep Stealing Nocturia,” the KCS designated the weeks from June 18 to June 30 as Gold Ribbon Campaign Week. During the campaign, posters with employing thief imagery in accordance with the concept of the slogan were displayed at more than 140 hospitals across the nation . Member urologists wore a Gold Ribbon pin to promote the Gold Ribbon Campaign and emphasized the need to treat nocturia with patients, peer doctors and nurses.
A nationwide survey of 1,842 males and females adults over 40 was conducted. 65% of those surveyed reported symptoms of nocturia which affected their physical and emotional well-being. Still, 75% said they did not consult a doctor, leaving their symptoms untreated. 63% said they thought the symptoms were a natural phenomenon, like aging, highlight the urgent need for improved awareness. In addition, more than half of those who experienced nocturia had difficulty getting quality sleep, and 18% also experienced depression, a rate two times higher than in normal persons. Additionally, nocturia was found to severely impair quality of life, affecting sex life, and cause daytime drowsiness in some people.
- Creation and Distribution of Free Mobile Apps
KCS and KUA developed and distributed two free mobile apps that provided the public with information on nocturia and urological disorders and could be used as a self-evaluation tool. One app, 'Urine Troubleshooter’, allows users to perform a self-evaluation of symptoms related to urological disorders and to evaluate the disease severity. The other app, ‘Bladder-Pelvis Clinic’, provides detailed information on muscular exercises, bladder training, cystitis prevention, overactive bladder, and female care .
- Media Activities
In June and July, three television news reports, two radio reports and 132 printed news reports were produced as a result of four press releases (about the campaign week designation, the nocturia survey, nocturia and daytime drowsiness, and the free mobile apps). Many of these were by TV programs with high viewerships, major daily newspapers, and trade media with many male readers. There were an estimated 79,554,200 impressions (Table 1) with the entire population of Korea (48 million) exposed an average of 1.7 times to the message on nocturia and the need for treatment. The exposure frequency increases when considering the adult population alone .
Campaign Outcome and Suggestions
On the occasion of the World Continence Week, the KCS and KUA has conducted the Gold Ribbon Campaign ever year for six years, improving the public awareness of urological diseases in Korea. Through a variety of activities including the designation of the campaign week, the nocturia survey, and media promotion, the Gold Ribbon Campaign has improved the low public awareness of overactive bladder, nocturia, and urinary incontinence, while encouraging many to visit urological clinics to receive treatment by correcting misperceptions of a disease misunderstood to be a natural phenomenon that needs no treatment or a cause of embarrassing symptoms that need to be hidden.
Given the exceptional outcome of this campaign for awareness of urological disorders in Korea, we would believe the Gold Ribbon Campaign should expanded to an international campaign like the Pink Ribbon or Red Ribbon campaigns. If every country launches a Gold Ribbon Campaign covering the same topics during World Continence Week, we can deliver more powerful messages to the public regarding urological disorders.
For more information please see the below:
The 6th Gold Ribbon Campaign
Korean Continence Society