In Taiwan, Most Incontinent Women Do Not Seek Help

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Int. J Gynaecol Obstet. 2007; published online ahead of print

 

Almost 30% of Taiwanese women aged 60 years and older suffer from urinary incontinence (UI), but most do not visit a doctor for the condition, a study found.

 

Meng-Chih Lee, MD, PhD, MPH, Ching-Hung Hsieh, MD, and colleagues of the Institute of Medicine at Chung Shan Medical University in Taichung, Taiwan, studied 1,517 women who were interviewed in their homes and filled out health-related questionnaires on the topic.

 

Of the 1,517 women, 485 (29.8%) reported urinary incontinence and 250 (69.9%) of these women experienced symptoms less than once a month. About 85% of women in the study said they would tell a doctor if they had UI, but only 147 (30.3%) of the 485 women with UI actually sought medical help for it. The researchers found that the main reason for not telling a doctor about the condition was shyness.

 

“This is consistent with conservative attitudes among Taiwanese,” the authors wrote. “Although it was anticipated that fear of surgery might be a common response, it was low on the list of reasons not to seek treatment.”

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