Client and clinical staff perceptions of barriers to and enablers of the uptake and delivery of behavioural interventions for urinary incontinence: qualitative evidence synthesis

Beverley French, Lois H Thomas, Joanna McAdam, Jacqueline Coupe, Brenda Roe, Joanne Booth, Francine Cheater, Michael J. Leathley, Caroline L. Watkins, Jean Hay-Smith, The ICONS Project Team, ICONS Patient, Public and Carer Groups

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)
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Aim: To evaluate factors influencing uptake and delivery of behavioural interventions for urinary incontinence from the perspective of clients and clinical staff.

Background: Behavioural interventions are recommended as first-line therapy for the management of urinary incontinence. Barriers to and enablers of uptake and delivery of behavioural interventions have not been reviewed.

Design: Qualitative evidence synthesis.

Data sources: MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL, PsychInfo, AMED (inception to May 2013); Proceedings of the International Continence Society (ICS) (2006-13).

Review methods: Studies where data were collected from clients or staff about their experiences or perceptions of behavioural interventions were included. Two reviewers independently screened records on title and abstract. Full-text papers were obtained for records identified as potentially relevant by either reviewer. Two reviewers independently filtered all full-text papers for inclusion, extracted findings and critically appraised studies. We used an approach akin to Framework, using a matrix of pre-specified themes to classify the data and facilitate its presentation and synthesis.

Results: Seven studies involving 200 participants identified clients’ views. Findings identified from at least one study of moderate quality included increased fear of accidents and convenience of treatment. Factors enabling participation included realistic goals and gaining control.

Six studies involving 427 participants identified staff views. Findings identified from at least one study of moderate quality included staff education and perceptions of treatment effectiveness. Enabling factors included teamwork and experience of success.

Conclusion: There is little detailed exploration of clients’ experiences of and responses to, behavioural interventions. Evidence for staff relates predominantly to prompted voiding in long-term residential care. Studies of the uptake and delivery of other behavioural interventions in other settings are warranted.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21-38
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Advanced Nursing
Issue number1
Early online date26 Sep 2016
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2017


  • behavioural interventions
  • bladder training
  • management of incontinence
  • nursing
  • pelvic floor muscle training
  • prompted voiding
  • qualitative evidence synthesis
  • systematic review
  • urinary incontinence

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