Urinary Incontinence in Family Practice

DOI: 10.3238/zfa.2020.0350-0356

german translation / full article

Kathryn Hoffmann

Keywords: articles in continuing medical education family physicians taboo topic urinary incontinence

BackgroundUrinary incontinence is frequent, in particular in older population groups. However, since urinary incontinence is still a taboo topic in medicine many patients do not report it during the consultation meaning that the doctor-patient communication is essential and needs a lot of sensitivity and tact. Additionally, incontinence is not a disease by itself but a symptom of a multitude of possible underlying causes. Therapy depends on the underlying medical disorder and the health needs of the patient. Search MethodsPragmatic search (no language limit) under the medical subject headings “urinary incontinence“ and “Harninkontinenz” in the data bank PubMed as well as in grey literature.Main MessagesSince urinary incontinence is still a taboo topic it is of advantage to address the topic proactively. Most important for the diagnostic procedure regarding the different forms of urinary incontinence are a comprehensive patient history, empathic doctor-patient-communication, and the micturition diary. Complicated forms of urinary incontinence always need cooperation with a specialist. Therapeutic options should be patient-centered and fit for the specific form of the urinary incontinence as well as for the particular needs of the patient. Therapeutic options include medication, however, options that include combinations of behavioral and physiotherapeutic training seems to be most promising. Additionally, the attention is shifting more into the direction of surgical interventions even for mixed urinary incontinence. However, since enabling factors for urinary incontinence are manifold prevention is an important approach, which should be highlighted better.ConclusionsUrinary incontinence is a common but treatable problem for millions of predominantly elderly persons. A family practice seems to be a predestined place for patient-centered investigating, counselling and treating affected persons unless it concerns uncomplicated urinary incontinence.Keywordsurinary incontinence; family physicians; taboo topic; articles in continuing medical education

related files


(State: 14.09.2020)

Latest Issue 9/2020

In Focus

  • Clinical Characteristics of SARS-CoV-2 Tested Patients
  • Urinary Incontinence in Family Practice
  • Challenges in Southern Bavarian Primary Care Practices During the COVID-19 Pandemic