NIH panel reviews incontinence stigma
NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted Jan. 7, 2008
Fewer than half of the individuals experiencing either urinary or fecal incontinence report their symptoms to their physicians, said an independent panel convened by the National Institutes of Health to study the issue.
The secrecy and distress surrounding these issues erode the quality of life for millions of people, the state-of-the-science panel concluded on Dec. 12, 2007, after two-days of hearings.
The panel found that physicians and other health care professionals are well positioned to initiate discussions with patients on this subject. Patients can be told that they aren't alone, that some treatable medical conditions can cause incontinence, and that the problem doesn't need to be a part of aging.
Although incontinence can affect men and women at all life stages, both conditions disproportionately affect women, especially those who have given birth.
Note: This item originally appeared at http://www.ama-assn.org/amednews/2008/01/07/hlbf0107.htm.