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Title: Effectiveness of continence promotion for older women via community organisations: A cluster randomised trial
Authors: Tannenbaum, C
Agnew, R
Benedetti, A
Thomas, D
van den Heuvel, E
Issue Date: 2013
Publisher: BMJ Group
Citation: BMJ Open, 3(12): e004135, 2013
Abstract: Objectives: The primary objective of this cluster randomised controlled trial was to compare the effectiveness of the three experimental continence promotion interventions against a control intervention on urinary symptom improvement in older women with untreated incontinence recruited from community organisations. A second objective was to determine whether changes in incontinence-related knowledge and new uptake of risk-modifying behaviours explain these improvements. Setting: 71 community organisations across the UK. Participants: 259 women aged 60 years and older with untreated incontinence entered the trial; 88% completed the 3-month follow-up. Interventions: The three active interventions consisted of a single 60 min group workshop on (1) continence education (20 clusters, 64 women); (2) evidence-based self-management (17 clusters, 70 women); or (3) combined continence education and self-management (17 clusters, 61 women). The control intervention was a single 60 min educational group workshop on memory loss, polypharmacy and osteoporosis (17 clusters, 64 women). Primary and secondary outcome measures: The primary outcome was self-reported improvement in incontinence 3 months postintervention at the level of the individual. The secondary outcome was change in the International Consultation on Incontinence Questionnaire (ICIQ) from baseline to 3-month follow-up. Changes in incontinence-related knowledge and behaviours were also assessed. Results: The highest rate of urinary symptom improvement occurred in the combined intervention group (66% vs 11% of the control group, prevalence difference 55%, 95% CI 43% to 67%, intracluster correlation 0). 30% versus 6% of participants reported significant improvement respectively (prevalence difference 23%, 95% CI 10% to 36%, intracluster correlation 0). The number-needed-to-treat was 2 to achieve any improvement in incontinence symptoms, and 5 to attain significant improvement. Compared to controls, participants in the combined intervention reported an adjusted mean 2.05 point (95% CI 0.87 to 3.24) greater improvement on the ICIQ from baseline to 3-month follow-up. Changes in knowledge and self-reported risk-reduction behaviours paralleled rates of improvement in all intervention arms. Conclusions: Continence education combined with evidence-based self-management improves symptoms of incontinence among untreated older women. Community organisations represent an untapped vector for delivering effective continence promotion interventions.
Description: This is an Open Access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 3.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See:
ISSN: 2044-6055
Appears in Collections:Brunel Institute for Bioengineering (BIB)

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