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Int J Older People Nurs. 2019 Oct 2:e12275. doi: 10.1111/opn.12275. [Epub ahead of print]

Registered nurse's experiences of continence care for older people: A qualitative descriptive study.

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Department of Care Science, Faculty of Health and Society, Malmö University, Malmö, Sweden.
Department of Nursing Education, Lovisenberg Diaconal University College, Oslo, Norway.
Home Care, Health, Care and Welfare Trust, Malmö, Sweden.
Special Accommodations, Social Services Department, Trelleborg, Sweden.



This study aimed to illuminate nurses' experience of continence care for older people receiving home care, either in their own home or in an assisted living facility.


Registered Nurses (RNs) have a major role to play in identifying and establishing appropriate actions regarding continence care for older people. However, the crucial nursing care pathway for continence care is commonly described as poor.


Interviews were conducted with 11 RNs providing home care, and the transcribed texts were analysed using inductive content analysis.


The impressions of RNs were categorised according to four themes: perceptions of continence care, an open approach to continence care, the need for personalised aid fittings and the importance of teamwork in continence care. Key findings were the importance of teamwork; the need for nurses to embrace leadership at the point of care and be more visible in terms of the provision of direct care; substantiation that evidence-based interventions, such as scheduled toileting and prompted voiding, should constitute the norm in continence care within the context of home care; and the need for nurses to support the right of older persons to receive an assessment of their continence problems, deemed to be the minimum standard of quality care.


The provision of continence care that is based on key nursing standards, such as evidence-based and person-centred care, as well as individualised continence care that is based on evidenced-based guidelines, would ensure an improvement in the continence care that is presently on offer to older people.


Nurses need to embrace leadership at the point of care and to be more visible with the provision of direct care in order to improve continence care for older people receiving home care.


content analysis; home care; nursing; qualitative design; urinary incontinence

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