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Help-seeking Behaviour And Associated Factors Among Women With Urinary Incontinence In France, Germany, Spain And The United Kingdom.

M. O'Donnell, G. Lose, D. Sykes, S. Voss, S. Hunskaar
Published 2005 · Medicine

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OBJECTIVES To assess the proportion of women who consult their doctor about urinary incontinence (UI), and explore factors associated with help-seeking in France, Germany, Spain and the UK. METHODS A representative sample of 29,500 women received a 13 item postal questionnaire to identify those with UI. A randomly selected sub-sample of 2953 women with UI received a more detailed follow-up questionnaire. RESULTS There was a response rate of 58% in the initial survey and 53% in the second. Thirty-one percent of all women had consulted a doctor about their UI symptoms with more women consulting in France and Germany than in the UK and Spain. A number of factors relating to general health care, UI and women's attitudes were found to be associated with help-seeking after adjusting for women's age, UI duration and frequency, and 'bothersomeness' of UI; factors traditionally associated with help-seeking. After adjusting for these factors, willingness to take long-term medication and having spoken to others about UI were found to be strong predictors of help-seeking in all four countries.
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