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J Wound Ostomy Continence Nurs. 2006 Jul-Aug;33(4):389-95.

Does a continence educational brochure promote health-seeking behavior?

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  • 1Southern Health-Deakin University, Burwood, Malvern, Victoria, Australia.



This study reviewed whether participants who were given a continence education package, which included a Continence Educational Brochure (CEB), and who indicated that they were bothered by incontinence symptoms changed health-seeking behaviors about their incontinence problem because of being given the brochure.


This study used a descriptive and exploratory design. Participants were given the CEB and asked to read the information. They were also asked to complete a continence questionnaire and mail this back to the research team. Participants who indicated that they were bothered by a continence problem and consented to being interviewed were telephoned 2 to 3 months later. They were asked questions to determine their actions and progress in relation to managing their continence problem and whether the CEB had influenced their behavior.


A total of 631 participants (352 females, 55.8%; 279 males, 44.2%) from 4 rural and regional settings in Victoria, Australia, participated. Of this sample, 111 participants (78 females, 70.3%; 33 males, 29.7%) who reported that they were bothered by a continence problem were interviewed 3 months after being given the CEB.


Two thirds of the total sample of participants (n=111) sought help for their continence problem. Approximately 70.3% (n=78) continued to have a continence problem. Of this group, 84.6% were still bothered by the continence problem and 65.4% had taken action to treat their incontinence. Forty-nine participants (44.1%) indicated that they had discussed the issue of bladder or bowel problems with someone directly because of this study or the information contained in the brochure. More than 94% of participants who remembered the CEB indicated that they believed the brochure would be helpful if given to other people.


These findings suggest that the CEB prompted individuals to discuss their continence problem and in fewer cases to seek professional help. Given these findings, distribution of a continence education package is advocated as a continence health promotion strategy.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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