Condom versus indwelling urinary catheters: a randomized trial

J Am Geriatr Soc. 2006 Jul;54(7):1055-61. doi: 10.1111/j.1532-5415.2006.00785.x.


Objectives: To compare condom and indwelling urinary catheters in terms of infection risk and patient satisfaction.

Design: A prospective, randomized, unblinded, controlled trial.

Setting: An academically affiliated Veterans Affairs Medical Center.

Participants: Hospitalized men aged 40 and older who required a urinary collection device.

Measurements: The incidence of adverse outcomes (bacteriuria, symptomatic urinary tract infection (UTI), or death) and patient device-related satisfaction as determined according to a questionnaire. Dementia status was recorded to assess effect modification by the presence of dementia.

Results: Seventy-five subjects were randomized: 41 receiving an indwelling catheter and 34 a condom catheter. The incidence of an adverse outcome was 131/1,000 patient-days with an indwelling catheter and 70/1,000 patient-days with a condom catheter (P=.07). The median time to an adverse event was 7 days in the indwelling group and 11 days in the condom group. After adjusting for other risk factors, it was found that condom catheter use reduced adverse outcomes (P=.04). Patients without dementia who had an indwelling catheter were approximately five times as likely to develop bacteriuria or symptomatic UTI or to die (hazard ratio=4.84, 95% confidence interval=1.46-16.02) as those with a condom catheter (P=.01). Patients reported that condom catheters were more comfortable (P=.02) and less painful (P=.02) than indwelling catheters.

Conclusion: The use of condom catheters is less likely to lead to bacteriuria, symptomatic UTI, or death than the use of indwelling catheters. This protection is especially apparent in men without dementia.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Bacteriuria / epidemiology*
  • Bacteriuria / prevention & control
  • Catheters, Indwelling* / adverse effects
  • Cross Infection / epidemiology*
  • Dementia / epidemiology
  • Equipment Design
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Prospective Studies
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Urinary Catheterization*
  • Urinary Incontinence / therapy
  • Veterans