For a successful therapy, it’s important to find out the patients’ actual experiences when performing intermittent catheterization (IC). But a lack of research can provide obstacles. Have we heard directly from the patient about the difficulties they face when approaching IC?
A recent study seeks to remedy this neglect in research; it involved a total of 200 adults who had independently been performing IC for at least 6 months across the US.
A significant portion of patients with neurogenic bladder will develop lifelong dependence upon intermittent catheterization (IC) for emptying their bladder. They are often patients with neurogenic diagnoses, such as spinal cord injuries, multiple sclerosis (MS) and Parkinson’s disease.
On an annual basis, neurogenic bladder will affect about 80% of patients with new spinal cord injuries, 70% of patients diagnosed with MS and 40% of patients who develop Parkinson's disease.
The current study:
- Is unique considering its focus, study design, population size and diversity
- Aims to quantify several aspects of the patient experience when performing IC
The study included 200 individuals in urology and rehabilitation centers, who perform self-catheterization, and their personal practice patterns were obtained and analyzed.
The data obtained included variables such as:
- the position adopted when catheterizing
- the type of catheter used (e.g., hydrophilic)
- the functional level of dexterity
- whether patients felt they were adherent to the antiseptic guidelines and other instructions provided with catheter products
The results revealed high satisfaction scores related to IC for the vast majority of participants
High satisfaction was reported among participants, related to:
- ease of use
- and psychological well‐being
In addition, the results showed a need to improve convenience regarding IC for patients when traveling, as well as understanding long‐term complications of IC, especially related to UTIs.
Highlighting the importance of patient education, the authors state that the results of the current study will allow clinicians to target one specific issue in one discrete phase of the IC process, and, if improved upon, will enhance QoL.