McMaster University

McMaster University

Faculty of
Health Sciences

A new guide written for women with bladder issues

Published: September 25, 2012
Jennifer Skelly
Jennifer Skelly, an associate professor with the McMaster School of Nursing (SON) and director of the School's Nurse Continence Advisor Program

A new pocket-sized booklet is now available to help women with bladder problems better understand urinary incontinence, its causes, and the options available to manage this condition, as well as prepare them to discuss these options with their health care providers.

"There was no resource or decision-making guide to help women decide what to do about their incontinence treatment and how to talk to their doctors about it," said Jennifer Skelly, an associate professor with the McMaster School of Nursing (SON) and director of the School’s Nurse Continence Advisor Program.

The booklet will be introduced by Skelly and another team member, Dr. Donna Fedorkow, who is a professor in McMaster’s Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, at an event for women on Tuesday, Oct. 2 at 7 p.m. at the Royal Botanical Gardens in Burlington. The event is for women aged 40 to 65 who may have bladder problems and are looking for help deciding their options.

The decision aid will be discussed in greater detail at the event, which is also an opportunity to ask questions of two specialists in an understanding, safe environment, said Skelly. To reserve a seat at the event, call 905-573-4821.

The team that developed the booklet was led by Skelly and Tazim Virani, an assistant clinical professor with the SON and founding director of the Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario’s (RNAO) Nursing Best Practice Guidelines program.

Those with urinary incontinence, which is the involuntary release or leakage of urine, are often too embarrassed to discuss it with anyone, including their doctor. Some also mistakenly believe that this is a normal part of aging, or are not aware that others have the same problem. However, one in four Canadian women middle-aged or older experiences it, according to the Canadian Continence Foundation.

"They suffer in silence," said Skelly, who is also director of the Continence Programs at St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton.

The booklet was funded by Echo, an agency of Ontario’s Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care focused on improving women’s health, and RNAO (Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario).

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