EAU Patient Information on Urinary Incontinence: Helping break the taboo

24 November 2014

The latest EAU Patient Information set deals with urinary incontinence, a medical condition that although common is widely underreported. The social, psychological, and even economic consequences of incontinence should not be underestimated.

In different international studies, “between 8 and 40 percent of the population has some level of incontinence,” according to Dr. John Heesakkers (NL), Chairman of the EAU Section of Female and Functional Urology (ESFFU). This all depends on how it is measured – which changes for each country.

The men and women who regularly present involuntary loss of urine often feel uncomfortable talking about these issues, not only with their families, but even with their doctors. There is a taboo around urine leakage that is hard to overcome. Because of the anonymity of the Internet, patients oftentimes search for information online, but many online sources offer information that is misleading or inaccurate. The newly launched EAU Patient Information on Urinary Incontinence can “help patients who search the Internet for resources on their condition,” Heesakkers said. It does so by providing a medically sound, clear, and trustworthy source of information on incontinence.

The EAU Patient Information set of 9 printable leaflets covers the causes, diagnosis and assessment, and main treatment options for urinary incontinence. It also provides practical tips for living with incontinence, from dietary suggestions to handling work and social activities. The information is complemented by custom-made illustrations that show various treatment options with the aim of reassuring the patient. This tool can help doctors talk to patients and is a useful aid for explaining procedures.

Urologists are invited to download and print the different leaflets to use in their daily communication with patients. The texts have been composed with great care by a diverse group of experts, consisting of urologists representing the ESFFU and Guidelines Office, as well as nurses from the EAUN. They are written in plain language and at the same time they comply with the most current evidence base in medicine. EAU Patient Information is in line with the latest EAU Guidelines on Urinary Incontinence.

EAU Patient Information also has informational leaflets on urolithiasis, overactive bladder symptoms, benign prostatic enlargement, nocturia, and kidney cancer, and leaflets have been translated to more than 10 languages. Translations have been set up in collaboration with national urological societies.

For the full overview of topics and languages please visit http://patients.uroweb.org