Outcome evaluation of a multi-disciplinary community-based continence service for Australian women.
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This longitudinal study evaluated the effectiveness of a multi-disciplinary community-based service offering conservative treatment for Australian women suffering urinary incontinence and living independently in the community, in terms of urinary incontinence symptom severity, impact on quality of life and knowledge outcomes. One hundred and twenty-three women attending The Waterworx Centre, a multi-disciplinary, publicly funded community-based continence service in South East Queensland Australia participated in the study. They received multi-disciplinary conservative treatment for urinary incontinence, including comprehensive assessment and an individually-tailored plan of care. All the women were also linked back to their own generalist health professional for ongoing care and management. Data were collected over a one-year period: at first consultation, and at three months and six months following the first consultation. The International Continence Society Urinary Symptom Index Short Form - Female Outcome was used to measure urinary symptoms and impact on quality of life, and a researcher-developed test was used to measure changes in knowledge. Results showed that the women experienced an improvement in urinary symptoms and continence-related knowledge at three months following first consultation, and a decreased impact on quality of life, with these improvements either being sustained or increasing at six months. This study demonstrated that multi-disciplinary community-based services offering specialist conservative treatment for women suffering urinary incontinence can be effective in achieving improvements in urinary symptoms and continence-related knowledge and reducing the impact of urinary incontinence on quality of life.
Women and Health
© 2004 The Haworth Press. Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. This journal is available online - use hypertext links. This is the author-manuscript version of this paper.