Objectives: To find the quantitative and qualitative features of urinary incontinence (UI) in an out-patient feminine population in our Health District.
Design: Crossover and observational study.
Participants: Women between 20 and 65 years old who attended a PC on-demand clinic.
Intervention: A questionnaire and a clinical history.
Results: Eight PC doctors polled 502 female patients. 40.6% said they had urinary incontinence, the majority (70.3%) of these had stress incontinence. The starting age was between 30 and 51 in 60% of cases. 37.5% of the patients with UI said it had moderate or serious psycho-social repercussions, although only 11.4% had consulted the doctor.
Conclusions: There is a broad range of difference on the prevalence of UI in the literature, which on the whole tends to minimise the problem, due to the diagnostic criteria and methods used. UI is an extremely serious health problem for women, with important repercussions on their quality of life, in spite of which patients do not seek medical help. We health-workers should make an effort to tackle this problem in this broad population-group.