How Bothersome is Urinary Incontinence?
In an effort to answer this question, 15,000 enrollees in AARP Medicare supplement plans (insured by United Healthcare) were asked this question in the form of a survey. Of the more than 5000 members who responded, over 35% of them described urinary incontinence as a condition that affected not only physical, but mental health as well.The researchers in this study
also found that urinary incontinence affected perceived quality of life more than diabetes, arthritis, and some forms of cancer.
AsBurgio et al
reported previously, many adults do not report incontinence to their medical providers, so the likelihood of incontinence creating significant bother is high when the chances of acquiring treatment are decreased. If health care providers and the insurance companies can help patients identify impairments caused by urinary leakage early on, send the patients to the most appropriate conservative care versus surgeries, perhaps patients will report enhanced quality of life as well as save health care dollars."
As reported onEnhanced Online News
, Dr. Richard Migliori of the Business Initiatives and Clinical Affairs at UnitedHealth Group describes an "...opportunity for the health care system to develop treatment programs that can enhance not [the patients] physical health, but their mental and emotional health as well." We as rehab professionals can continue to educate the public and the health care system regarding our role in treating bladder issues so that fewer patients suffer decreased life quality due to urinary incontinence.