Urinary incontinence after stroke: identification, assessment, and intervention by rehabilitation professionals in Canada

Urinary incontinence is a common and distressing problem which may occur as a result of a stroke, and although there is evidence of new and effective rehabilitation interventions for this specific group, it is not known whether occupational therapists (OT's) and physical therapists (PT's) actual practices are best practice.

This study sought to determine the extent to which OT's and PT's identify, assess and treat UI following stroke, and to identify personal and organisational predictors of UI problem identification, best-practice assessment and intervetion.

693 OT's and 656 PT's working in stroke rehabilitation in Canada were randomly selected and interviewed with a telephone questionnaire, using general open-ended questions relating to a generated case (vignette) of a typical client who had experienced a stroke and had UI problems. 

Only 39% of OT's and 41% of PT's identified UI after stroke as a problem, with fewer thatn 20% of OT's and 15% of PT's using best-practice assessments, and only 2% of OT's and 3% of PT's used best-practice interventions.

This study concludes that Canadian OT's and PT's do not routinely identify post-stroke UI as a problem, and best-practice assessments and interventions are underused within these groups.

Stroke (2007) 38(10) 2745-51

Link to Abstract

Link to Full Text