, Volume 24, Issue 3, pp 307-317
Date: 12 Sep 2008

Differences between Older Chinese Men and Women from Hong Kong in the Impact of Urinary Incontinence on their Lives

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This study reports the epidemiology of urinary incontinence (UI) and its impact on the social lives of older Chinese people in Hong Kong, a modern city in China. It also examines the relationship between sex and this impact, as well as the extent of UI in a convenience sample of 101 sufferers aged 60 or older. This study was cross-sectional and used face-to-face interviews with a structured questionnaire. A number of findings concur with studies conducted in Western countries. Prevalence of UI increased with adult age, and it affected women more than men. UI had a negative impact on 86.1% of the incontinent respondents. There were no significant differences between men and women in the duration of UI, the level of UI, or health status. Out of the nine impacts on social lives, only one showed a significant difference between older men and women: “restriction on opportunities to participate in social activities.” Statistically, men tended to report more negative impacts than women. More than 80% of the respondents were affected by their UI. The impact of UI on social lives was basically the same for men and women, though men reported significantly more social impacts than did women. However, this study does not support the claim that the social life of those who reported more social impacts was worse than that of those who reported fewer.

I wish to thank Mr. Sui-Chung Lo for his generous assistance in data entry and analysis.