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Calls for more research into continence care

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The four-day RCN research conference in Liverpool featured over 212 research papers and 73 posters. Sadly amongst this abundance of research there were no papers on urinary incontinence and only one paper and one excellent poster discussed the issue of constipation.

There were a plethora of papers on the lived experience of having cancer but sadly nothing on the experience of living with incontinence. Perhaps this is because incontinence is not life threatening or because incontinence continues to have a low symptom profile amongst health care workers.

There is however, one inescapable fact, bowel and urinary incontinence issues are and will increase due to an ever-aging population. This dilemma will be further compounded by a diminishing work force. If health care workers are to meet this challenge they must ensure that future continence care is efficient, effective and economic.

Continence nursing research based on clinical need can help ensure future continence practice is evidence based and fit to meet the demands of the service and the needs of patients. It would be great to see this reflected, with continence papers on the programme, at the 2009 RCN International Nursing Research conference in Cardiff.

Gaye Kyle, senior lecturer at Thames Valley University and education and research officer for the Association for Continence Advice

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