Managing urinary incontinence in older people in hospital: a best practice implementation project

JBI Evid Synth. 2020 Jan;18(1):243-255. doi: 10.11124/JBISRIR-2017-003920.


Objectives: This project aimed to improve care in managing urinary incontinence in older patients admitted to a medium-to-long-stay hospital by developing and implementing strategies to improve the compliance with best practice in managing urinary incontinence and decrease its prevalence.

Introduction: Urinary incontinence (UI) is a major problem in hospitalized older people and is of great significance to public health. The application of evidence-based recommendations for this problem could be expected to improve the quality of care.

Methods: The project used the Joanna Briggs Institute's Practical Application of Clinical Evidence System and Getting Research into Practice audit tools for promoting change in healthcare practice. Participants were evaluated at baseline and at two follow-ups at three and six months after key strategies had been implemented. The location of this implementation project was the functional rehabilitation ward of a medium-to-long-stay Spanish hospital.

Results: In baseline audit there were four process criteria with a high level of compliance: two criteria with 35% and 44% respectively and one criterion without compliance. Action was taken to address the four barriers identified, leading to an increase in all cases except one, which was related to the characteristics of the patient. Prevalence of urinary incontinence decreased at follow-up.

Conclusions: The development and implementation of strategies improved quality of care. This project obtained positive results in patient health, and the implementation of the strategies used decreased the prevalence of urinary incontinence in patients.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Hospitalization
  • Hospitals
  • Humans
  • Urinary Incontinence* / epidemiology