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Distress Due To Urinary Problems And Psychosocial Correlates Among Retired Men In Hong Kong

M. Y. L. Chiu, H. T. Wong, X. Yang
Published 2020 · Psychology, Medicine

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Urinary problems are common among aging men, but there is a paucity of research efforts to understand the psychosocial aspects of the illness. This study aims to understand how common and distressing urinary problems are for newly retired men in Hong Kong and to test the associations between mental health, self-stigma of seeking help, fatigue, self-efficacy, self-esteem, and distress due to urinary problems. To assess this, 139 out of 200 members of a retired men’s social club (mean age 63.5) were successfully interviewed. Two-fifths of the participants felt distressed due to their urinary problems and one-third of the participants had been troubled by urinary incontinence or nocturia in the past six months. Yet the majority of the participants (55%) did not seek help from any medical profession. The group who were distressed by urinary problems showed significantly poorer mental health, reported more fatigue symptoms, were less satisfied with their sexual relationships and overall self-esteem, and were less able to stop unpleasant thoughts or to get social support than the non-distressed group. Cultural perceptions of masculinity and decreased sexual vigor might have affected participants’ willingness to seek help at an early stage. Targeted health education, mutual support groups, and sensitively designed services at the community level are suggested to address these physical and mental health issues.
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