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The link between chronic conditions and urinary incontinence

Pauline Chiarelli, Mark Weatherall

Urinary incontinence is commonly associated with chronic diseases. Strong associations exist between continence problems, impairments outside the lower urinary tract and activity limitations. These associations also occur in diseases that directly affect the neurological control mechanism for continence. The World Health Organization (WHO) International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) provides a paradigm for thinking about disease and its consequences, including urinary incontinence. This paper reviews the association between disease, impairment and activity limitation for some common chronic diseases and for older adults. The complexity of the relationships between different aspects of urinary incontinence has important implications for the assessment and management of urinary incontinence in chronic disease and for older adults.


pdf icon ANZCJ Vol 16 No 1 pp7-14.pdf