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J Wound Ostomy Continence Nurs. 2000 May;27(3):168-73.

Stigma associated with postprostatectomy urinary incontinence.

Author information

  • School of Nursing, Flinders University of South Australia and Repatriation General Hospital, Daw Park, South Australia.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

This collective case study explored the social implications of postprostatectomy urinary incontinence (UI).

DESIGN:

Collective case study.

SETTINGS AND SUBJECTS:

Three men older than age 60 years dwelling in the community who had urinary incontinence following prostatectomy.

METHODS:

Unstructured, in-depth interviews were thematically analyzed and presented in the form of a collective case study.

RESULTS:

Participants articulated two separate entities: a private and public identity. In their public identity, the participants went to great lengths to appear as a person who was continent of urine, and they expressed fear that their UI would be exposed. In revising their private identity, men used knowledge of their anatomy and physiology, family history, and life events to reject the cultural attitudes towards UI and renegotiate a new sense of self that was accepting of their leaking body.

CONCLUSION:

A stigma exists for men who experience UI following prostatectomy; this stigma affects public and private identity. Naturalistic inquiry methods such as the collective case study described here provide new knowledge for continence nurses as they assist these patients to manage their UI within a social context.

PMID:
10814949
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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