The prevalence of and the related factors for urinary and fecal incontinence among older residing in nursing homes

J Clin Nurs. 2009 Dec;18(23):3290-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2702.2009.02936.x.


Aims and objectives: To determine the prevalence of urinary incontinence and fecal incontinence among older people residing in nursing homes in Istanbul.

Background: Urinary incontinence (UI) is a multifactorial condition associated with age-related changes and disorders of the genitourinary system and systemic problems affecting normal micturition. The impact of UI and fecal incontinence (FI) on older people living in nursing homes is more significant than those living in the community.

Design: Cross-sectional study.

Methods: This study was performed with 1110 older people who were 60 years and older residing in five government rest homes on the European side of Istanbul in Turkey. An interview was conducted with the residents that had sufficient cognitive function and agreed to participate. Demographic findings and complaints about incontinence were analyzed using a special questionnaire.

Results: The total number of older people who participated was 694; 56.5% females and 43.5% males; 43.4% of females and 20.9% of males. Urge incontinence was common in both groups. FI was more common among females (14%, males 6%) and the mean duration of symptoms was longer. The related factors for UI among older females revealed that history of an episiotomy, frequency, urgency, fecal incontinence and functional incapacity among males; whereas history of stroke and pulmonary disorders were independent variables that increased the incidence of frequency, recurrent urinary tract infections and fecal incontinence. The related factors for fecal incontinence among older females included history of stroke and functional status. Diabetes mellitus requiring medical treatment, frequency, functional incapacity and urinary incontinence were significant related factors for fecal incontinence among males.

Conclusions: According to similar studies, the urinary and fecal incontinence rates in nursing home residents were lower compared to the other countries. Incontinence was more common among females according to males. Understanding related factors of incontinence are important for providing care and counseling in nursing homes.

Relevance to clinical practice: Nurses can provide appropriate information and support at each step in the protecting, screening, diagnosis and treatment process so that elders' incontinence is minimized.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Fecal Incontinence / epidemiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nursing Homes*
  • Prevalence
  • Turkey / epidemiology
  • Urinary Incontinence / epidemiology*