Objective: To determine if the use of a catheter-valve rather than a standard drainage system decreases the morbidity associated with the use of a long-term catheter.
Patients and methods: One hundred patients undergoing long-term catheterization were recruited into a prospective randomized study to investigate the acceptability and determine any increase in infection associated with the use of a catheter-valve, compared with the standard drainage system. Each patient participated in the study protocol for 3 months, during which the frequency of urinary tract infection was assessed, and the patients' views obtained using a standard questionnaire and by interview.
Results: Ninety-four patients completed the study; most (92%) were happy or satisfied with the valve, as opposed to only 35% of those using a standard drainage bag. There was no significant difference between the groups in the incidence of urinary tract infections.
Conclusion: The patients who used the standard drainage system felt their level of activity was impaired, whereas the group who were using the valve did not. In the long-term the valve was cheaper and caused less morbidity, but because it is constructed to allow one-way flow, this was not associated with an increase in the incidence of urinary tract infections.