Clinical and cost-effectiveness of a new nurse-led continence service: a randomised controlled trial.
BACKGROUND: Continence services in the UK have developed at different rates within differing care models, resulting in scattered and inconsistent services. Consequently, questions remain about the most cost-effective method of delivering these services. AIM: To evaluate the impact of a new service led by a continence nurse practitioner compared with existing primary/secondary care provision for people with urinary incontinence and storage symptoms. DESIGN OF STUDY: Randomised controlled trial with a 3- and 6-month follow-up in men and women (n = 3746) aged 40 years and over living in private households (intervention [n = 2958]; control [n = 788]). SETTING: Leicestershire and Rutland, UK. METHOD: The continence nurse practitioner intervention comprised a continence service provided by specially trained nurses delivering evidence-based interventions using predetermined care pathways. They delivered an 8-week primary intervention package that included advice on diet and fluids; bladder training; pelvic floor awareness and lifestyle advice. The standard care arm comprised access to existing primary care including GP and continence advisory services in the area. Outcome measures were recorded at 3 and 6 months post-randomisation. RESULTS: The percentage of individuals who improved (with at least one symptom alleviated) at 3 months was 59% in the intervention group compared with 48% in the standard care group (difference of 11%, 95% CI = 7 to 16; P<0.001) The percentage of people reporting no symptoms or 'cured' was 25% in the intervention group and 15% in the standard care group (difference of 10%, 95% CI = 6 to 13, P = 0.001). At 6 months the difference was maintained. There was a significant difference in impact scores between the two groups at 3 and 6 months. CONCLUSIONS: The continence nurse practitioner-led intervention reduced the symptoms of incontinence, frequency, urgency and nocturia at 3 and 6 months; impact was reduced; and satisfaction with the new service was high.
Williams, KS; Assassa, RP; Cooper, NJ; Turner, DA; Shaw, C; Abrams, KR; Mayne, C; Jagger, C; Matthews, R; Clarke, M; McGrother, CW; Leicestershire MRC Incontinence Study Team,
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