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Nurse Pract. 1994 Oct;19(10):55-61.

Use and effectiveness of physical self-care strategies for interstitial cystitis.

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  • 1School of Nursing, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, Denver.


Interstitial cystitis is a painful disease that primarily affects women. It involves a chronic bladder inflammation of unknown etiology and unpredictable course. There is no consensus about treatment. Women with interstitial cystitis report using multiple strategies and interventions to prevent and manage urinary urgency, frequency, and suprapubic pain. A survey questionnaire on self-care strategies was completed by 138 members of the Interstitial Cystitis Association. Subjects indicated how often they used more than 300 self-care strategies and the effectiveness of these strategies. This article reports findings from five physical subdomains (medications, treatments, hygiene, diet, and body comfort). Among those who report actually using the methods the effectiveness ratings for many body comfort strategies are comparable to the reported effectiveness of medications (including narcotics) for managing mild to moderate symptoms.

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