Urinary incontinence, work, and intention to leave current job: A cross sectional survey of the Australian nursing and midwifery workforce

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Neurourology and Urodynamics, 2017, 36 (7), pp. 1876 - 1883
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© 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Aims: To determine the prevalence and severity of urinary incontinence (UI) in a group of female nurses and midwives, and to examine the relationship between UI, work and intention to leave current job. Methods: An electronic survey “Fit for the future” was distributed to nurses and midwives in NSW, Australia between May 2014 and February 2015. UI was investigated using the International Consultation on Incontinence UI—Short Form. Examined work characteristics included: work role, location, setting, contract, shift, job satisfaction, and plans to leave current job. Logistic regression modelling was performed to determine whether the severity of UI had an independent effect on intention to leave. Results: Of 5041 survey responses, 68.5% answered the question on urine leakage. Of the included female sample (n = 2,907) the prevalence of UI was 32.0% (95% CI: 30-34%): of these 40.5% experienced moderate and 4.4% “severe or very severe” symptoms. UI was more likely to be reported in nurses or midwives working part-time or days only (not shifts). Those with “severe or very severe UI” were more likely to indicate an intention to leave at 12 months (OR: 2.68; 95% CI: 1.18-6.06) than those with slight or moderate symptoms, after accounting for age, body mass index, parity, pelvic organ prolapse, anxiety, depression, work contract, shift, and job satisfaction. Conclusions: UI is a condition of high prevalence and significant severity in female nurses and midwives. In this workforce, severe UI was associated with intentions related to future employment.
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