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Nurs Outlook. 1994 Jul-Aug;42(4):163-9.

A health-promotion perspective of urinary continence.

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  • 1National Institute of Nursing Research, Bethesda, Maryland.


The purposes of this article are to discuss continence in older adults from a public health perspective, to expand a previously reported conceptual model of continence health promotion, and to provide a primary prevention focus to nursing research efforts regarding continence. The conceptual model shows that there has been a strong interest in secondary and tertiary prevention strategies, but little interest in primary prevention. Use of the matrix allows the nurse researcher identify primary, secondary, or tertiary prevention research questions and the target population for study. Historically, nurses have had a central role in the care and management of incontinent people. Nurses will continue to play a critical role in the evolution of research-based practice that includes identification of risks, health promotion, and preventive nursing strategies.

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