Objective. To identify women who are suffering from urinary incontinence but do not consult a physician and to identify reasons for this. Design. Survey study as part of a randomized controlled trial that investigates the effects of a standardized assessment and evidence-based treatment on urinary incontinence in older women, the URINO project. Setting. Female patients from general practices in the Northern part of the Netherlands. Patients. A total of 225 women of 55 years and older suffering from urinary incontinence. Main outcome measures. Number of patients with urinary incontinence who are not registered by their GP as suffering from this, factors associated with help-seeking behaviour, and reasons for not seeking help. Results. Of the 225 patients, 143 (64%) were not registered by their GP as suffering from urinary incontinence. These women were more often younger and had lower levels of distress due to their urogynaecological symptoms. The most common reason for not consulting a GP was that patients considered their symptoms not to be serious enough. Conclusion. The prevalence of older women with urinary incontinence who do not seek help is high. Help-seeking behaviour is associated with increasing age and higher levels of distress caused by the symptoms. Younger patients more often hesitate to consult their GP if they perceive their symptoms to be relatively mild.
- Family practice
- patient acceptance of health care
- primary health care
- urinary incontinence
- UROGENITAL DISTRESS INVENTORY
- HELP-SEEKING BEHAVIOR
- IMPACT QUESTIONNAIRE