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Int Urol Nephrol. 2014 Jan;46(1):285-96. doi: 10.1007/s11255-013-0507-y. Epub 2013 Aug 14.

Antimuscarinic use among individuals with urinary incontinence who reside in long-term care facilities.

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Center for Health Economics and Science Policy, United BioSource Corporation, 430 Bedford Street, Suite 300, Lexington, MA, 02420, USA,



To assess appropriateness of antimuscarinic use in long-term care facilities (LTCFs) among treated and untreated urinary incontinence (UI) residents from 2007 to 2009.


We conducted a retrospective analysis using the AnalytiCare(SM) database consisting of minimum data sets (MDS) assessments and prescription records of 90,660 residents from 2007 to 2009. UI (MDS H1b ≥ 1) residents with ≥ 14-day LTCF stay were identified and categorized as treated if they had ≥ 1 antimuscarinic prescription and untreated if they had no antimuscarinics. A random sample of untreated residents was matched based on treated residents' type of MDS assessment. We defined appropriate antimuscarinic use if residents had adequate cognitive function [≤ 4 on the cognitive performance scale (0 = intact to 6 = very severe impairment)] and mobility [scoring <4 on mobility for toileting scale (MDS item G1iA 0 = independent to 4 = total dependent)]. Chi-square tests were used to detect statistical difference between cohorts.


A total of 5,327 residents (2,840 treated; 2,487 untreated) were selected [mean age (standard deviation) 80 (8), 81 (8) years; female (76, 65 %), respectively]. On study-defined MDS assessment, 63 % of treated and 69 % of untreated residents had UI (P < 0.01). Approximately 84 % of treated and 74 % of untreated residents may have had cognitive function and mobility sufficient for appropriate antimuscarinic use (P < 0.01).


Our study identified a high percentage of LTCF residents with UI who may have been candidates for antimuscarinics. However, due to the MDS limitation, we were unable to identify overactive bladder patients among these untreated residents with UI. It is possible that untreated control residents had UI due to other factors not amenable to treatment with antimuscarinic agents. Therefore, choice of treatment for each resident needs to be individualized and carefully monitored for efficacy and adverse effects. This retrospective analysis requires prospective confirmation. Proper patient selection for antimuscarinic treatment requires careful assessment of underlying physical status including cognitive function, mobility, and comorbidities.

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