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Exploring Older Peoples' Experiences Of Nocturia: A Poorly Recognised Urinary Condition That Limits Participation

J. Booth, M. Lawrence, K. O'Neill, L. McMillan
Published 2010 · Medicine

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Purpose. This study sought to understand the experience of living and coping with nocturia, from the perspective of community-living older men and women. Method. Individual semi-structured interviews were undertaken with 32 older people with self-reported nocturia of twice nightly or more. Results. Four key characteristics of nocturia were identified. Nocturia was described as simultaneously debilitating, frustrating, distressing and puzzling. It impacted on sleep patterns and quality, personal relationships and increased the fear of falling among older people when rising to use the toilet at night. Previously unrecognised variability and unpredictability in the condition were highlighted features. Nocturia was not prioritised for health intervention. There were gender differences in initial help-seeking however once prostate disease was eliminated, self-management strategies to cope with the effects of nocturia were the norm. Conclusions. This study indicates that nocturia has a widespread and profound influence on older people's quality of life and participation, despite being regarded as a relatively benign condition by both older people and health professionals. Several features of the condition, which have the potential for great impact, are poorly recognised in particular its variability and unpredictability.
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