The aim of the study was to identify barriers in help seeking behaviors among women with urinary incontinence UI.
Materials and methods:
The study was performed using the method of diagnostic enquiry by means of questionnaire and interview among two groups of patients. The first group of women aged 47-79 years consisted of 80 members of the Association of People with Urinary Incontinence “Uroconti”. The second group included 61 females aged 26-81 years admitted to the Urodynamic Laboratory of Gynecology and Oncology Clinic at the University Hospital in Krakow.
Patients with stress urinary incontinence (SUI) reported to the doctor on average after 4 years, patients with urgency urinary incontinence (UUI), after 3 years, patients with a mixed form of urinary incontinence (MUI), after 6 years, and with overflow incontinence, after 10 years from the appearance of first symptoms. Anxiety shame, the conviction that symptoms of UI are a normal age related state, as well as the conviction that the symptoms are temporary significantly affected the delay in seeking medical consultation. Most of the surveyed women made the decision to undertake treatment themselves, and their main motive was the escalation of symptoms. The majority (89.4%) of women surveyed alleviated the symptoms of urinary incontinence without the help of a doctor sometimes using methods detrimental to their health.
The identification of help seeking barriers and reaching out to risk groups is essential for early diagnose and effective treatment of women with urinary incontinence.