Female Urinary Incontinence Evidence-Based Treatment Pathway: An Infographic for Shared Decision-Making

J Womens Health (Larchmt). 2022 Mar;31(3):341-346. doi: 10.1089/jwh.2021.0266. Epub 2021 Nov 5.


Objectives: Urinary incontinence (UI) is a highly prevalent burdensome condition among adult females in the United States, yet rates of care-seeking, evaluation, and treatment are nonoptimal. Components of evaluation and treatment are informed by research and professional society guidelines; however, a visual representation of this guidance does not exist. The objectives of this study are to review the literature regarding female UI care and to synthesize this information into a graphical format to facilitate health education, health care delivery, and shared decision-making. Methods: We reviewed published society guidelines, position statements, and associated references from the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, the Women's Preventive Services Initiative, American Academy of Family Physicians, American College of Physicians, the Society of Urodynamics and Female Urology, the American Urological Association, and the American Urogynecologic Society, and searched PubMed for related literature. We synthesized these findings into an evidence-based infographic depicting female UI risk factors, influences on care-seeking and provision, screening, evaluation, and a stepwise treatment approach. Results: This study summarizes current evidence and professional guidelines related to female UI into a compelling visual format and accompanying narrative. The infographic is intended as a tool for patient education, clinical practice, and research to facilitate shared decision-making and health care delivery. Conclusions: Female UI is highly prevalent, yet diagnosis and treatment are suboptimal. Use of an evidence-based infographic may positively impact patient knowledge and certainty about UI treatment and support health care provider counseling and decision-making.

Keywords: care pathway; female urinary incontinence; health education; infographic; shared decision-making.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Data Visualization
  • Female
  • Gynecology*
  • Humans
  • Obstetrics*
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care / psychology
  • United States
  • Urinary Incontinence* / diagnosis
  • Urinary Incontinence* / psychology
  • Urinary Incontinence* / therapy