Purpose: To evaluate the prevalence of long-term urinary catheter (UC) indwelling and potentially inappropriate urinary catheterization among residents of long-term care facilities (LTCFs) in Taiwan.
Method: From January to March of 2007, residents with long-term urethral UC indwelling of LTCFs in northern Taipei were invited for study and were enrolled when the informed consent was obtained. For every subject, UC was removed by home care nurses, and self-voiding (SV) status was determined after a 4-hour observation period. Residual volume (RV) was measured when the UC was re-indwelled. Potentially inappropriate UC indwelling was defined by the concomitant presence of SV and the RV less than 150 mL.
Results: In total, 252 residents from eight LTCFs were screened and 45 out of 62 residents with long-term UC indwelling were enrolled (mean age = 80.4 +/- 8.9 years, 40% were males, 95.6% were severely disabled). SV was noted in 86.7% (39/45) of study subjects, and 71.8% (28/39) self-voided subjects had their RV less than 150 mL. By definition, the prevalence of potentially inappropriate UC indwelling in this study was 62.2%. The mean RV was significantly lower in subjects with SV (101.3 +/- 66.1 vs. 221.7 +/- 154.1 mL, P = 0.002) and subjects with SV were more prone to have the RV less than 150 mL (P = 0.018).
Conclusion: The prevalence of long-term UC indwelling among Taiwanese LTCF residents was high and a high proportion of their UC may be removable. A national audit and introducing a practice guideline for continence care in LTCFs may help to promote quality of care for institutionalized older people in Taiwan.