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Psychiatr Serv. 2011 Jan;62(1):97-100. doi: 10.1176/appi.ps.62.1.97.

Prevalence and correlates of urinary incontinence in a large cohort of psychiatric inpatients.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, University of Vermont College of Medicine and Fletcher Allen Health Care, 111 Colchester Ave., Burlington, VT 05401-1473, USA. terry.rabinowitz@vtmednet.org



Urinary incontinence is physically and psychologically disabling, and little information exists about this condition in psychiatric populations. This exploratory study examined the prevalence of urinary incontinence and factors associated with this condition among persons with mental illness in three age groups: under 45, 45-64, and 65 and older.


Data were from the Resident Assessment Instrument-Mental Health. Population-level data on adult inpatient psychiatric admissions (N=41,004) in Ontario, Canada, between October 2005 and June 2007 were analyzed.


The prevalence of urinary incontinence was 6.2%, with higher rates among women and with increasing age. Across age groups, common treatable factors were found, including diarrhea, poorer cognitive and physical functioning, and use of chair restraint.


Urinary incontinence was relatively common among psychiatric inpatients and associated with a number of treatable conditions. When it is assessed early during an admission and appropriate treatment measures are implemented, time in the hospital may decrease.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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