Assessment, incidence and factors associated with urinary incontinence in older Aboriginal Australians

Kate Smith, Ailsa Sutherland, Zoë Hyde, Ruth Crawford, Anna Dwyer, Roslyn Malay, Linda Skeaf, Leon Flicker, David Atkinson, Dina LoGiudice

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4 Citations (Web of Science)
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BACKGROUND: Little is known about urinary incontinence in older Aboriginal Australians. AIM: To describe urinary incontinence assessment, prevalence, incidence and associated conditions in older Aboriginal Australians. METHODS: Wave 1 consisted of 363 Aboriginal participants aged ≥45 years from Western Australia; 289 participants participated in Wave 2, with 184 included at both time points. Urinary incontinence was assessed by self-report, family report and the modified International Consultation on Incontinence Questionnaire (ICIQ). We investigated factors associated with incontinence with binary logistic regression. Sensitivity and specificity analyses of incontinence measures were undertaken using the ICIQ score ≥2 as the reference standard. RESULTS: Participant mean age was 61.2 ± 11.2 years. Prevalence of incontinence at Wave 2 (n = 289) using self-report was 24.6%; using ICIQ ≥2 was 22.5%; and family report 14.2%. Incidence after follow-up of 6.7 years was 33 (23.6%), higher than estimates of 5-20% in other populations. Cross-sectional associations with incontinence include female sex (odds ratio (OR) = 6.82; 95% confidence interval (CI) 2.98-15.57), stroke (OR = 3.55; 95% CI 1.43-8.77), head injury (OR = 3.15; 95% CI 1.54-6.45) and depressive symptoms (OR = 1.07; 95% CI 1.01-1.14). Longitudinal associations were age (OR = 1.05; 95% CI 1.01-1.09) and female sex (OR = 2.37; 95% CI 0.99-5.67). Sensitivity (81.5%) and specificity (93.5%) of self-report were high. CONCLUSION: The prevalence and incidence of urinary incontinence in Aboriginal Australians is high with risk factors of older age and female sex. The modified ICIQ and self-report appear to be appropriate incontinence screens. Further research to understand causes and treatments within this population is urgently required.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1111-1118
Number of pages8
JournalInternal Medicine Journal
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2019


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