NICE Pathways bring together all NICE guidance, quality standards and other NICE information on a specific topic.

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1 Initial assessment and investigation of urinary incontinence bring together all NICE guidance, quality standards and other NICE information on a specific topic. are interactive and designed to be used online. They are updated regularly as new NICE guidance is published. To view the latest version of this pathway see: Pathway last updated: 11 November 2015 This document contains a single pathway diagram and uses numbering to link the boxes to the associated recommendations. All rights reserved

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3 1 Woman with urinary incontinence No additional information 2 History-taking and urine testing During the clinical assessment seek to identify relevant predisposing and precipitating factors and other diagnoses that may require referral for additional investigation and treatment. Urine testing Undertake a urine dipstick test in all women presenting with UI to detect the presence of blood, glucose, protein, leucocytes and nitrites in the urine. If women have symptoms of urinary tract infection (UTI) and their urine tests positive for both leucocytes and nitrites send a midstream urine specimen for culture and analysis of antibiotic sensitivities. Prescribe an appropriate course of antibiotic treatment pending culture results. If women have symptoms of UTI and their urine tests negative for either leucocytes or nitrites send a midstream urine specimen for culture and analysis of antibiotic sensitivities. Consider the prescription of antibiotics pending culture results. If women do not have symptoms of UTI, but their urine tests positive for both leucocytes and nitrites, do not offer antibiotics without the results of midstream urine culture. If a woman does not have symptoms of UTI and her urine tests negative for either leucocytes or nitrites do not send a urine sample for culture because she is unlikely to have UTI. NICE has produced a pathway on antimicrobial stewardship. Assessment of residual urine Measure post-void residual volume by bladder scan or catheterisation in women with symptoms suggestive of voiding dysfunction or recurrent UTI. Use a bladder scan in preference to catheterisation on the grounds of acceptability and lower incidence of adverse events. Page 3 of 10

4 Quality standards The following quality statements are relevant to this part of the pathway. 1. Diagnosing urinary tract infections in adults aged 65 years and over 2. Diagnosing urinary tract infections in adults with catheters 4. Urine culture for adults with a urinary tract infection that does not respond to initial antibiotic treatment 5. Antibiotic treatment for asymptomatic adults with catheters and non-pregnant women 6. Antibiotic prophylaxis to prevent catheter-related urinary tract infection 3 Urgent referral and specialist intervention Refer women with UI who have symptomatic prolapse that is visible at or below the vaginal introitus to a specialist. Refer women who are found to have a palpable bladder on bimanual or abdominal examination after voiding to a specialist. In women with UI, further indications for consideration for referral to a specialist service include: persisting bladder or urethral pain clinically benign pelvic masses associated faecal incontinence (for more information see the faecal incontinence pathway) suspected neurological disease (for more information see the urinary incontinence in neurological disease pathway) symptoms of voiding difficulty suspected urogenital fistulae previous continence surgery previous pelvic cancer surgery previous pelvic radiation therapy. For information about referral for suspected bladder cancer see urological cancers in the NICE pathway on suspected cancer recognition and referral. Page 4 of 10

5 4 Treating nocturia, vaginal atrophy and urinary retention Treating nocturia The use of desmopressin may be considered specifically to reduce nocturia 1 in women with UI or OAB who find it a troublesome symptom. Use particular caution in women with cystic fibrosis and avoid in those over 65 years with cardiovascular disease or hypertension. [2006, amended 2013] Treating vaginal atrophy Offer intravaginal oestrogens for the treatment of OAB symptoms in postmenopausal women with vaginal atrophy. Treating urinary retention Bladder catheterisation (intermittent or indwelling urethral or suprapubic) should be considered for women in whom persistent urinary retention is causing incontinence, symptomatic infections, or renal dysfunction, and in whom this cannot otherwise be corrected. Healthcare professionals should be aware, and explain to women, that the use of indwelling catheters in urgency UI may not result in continence. Intermittent urethral catheters Offer intermittent urethral catheterisation to women with urinary retention who can be taught to self-catheterise or who have a carer who can perform the technique. Indwelling urethral catheters Give careful consideration to the impact of long-term indwelling urethral catheterisation. Discuss the practicalities, benefits and risks with the patient or, if appropriate, her carer. Indications for the use of long-term indwelling urethral catheters for women with UI include: chronic urinary retention in women who are unable to manage intermittent selfcatheterisation skin wounds, pressure ulcers or irritations that are being contaminated by urine distress or disruption caused by bed and clothing changes where a woman expresses a preference for this form of management. Page 5 of 10

6 1 At the time of publication (September 2013), desmopressin did not have a UK marketing authorisation for this indication. The prescriber should follow relevant professional guidance, taking full responsibility for the decision. Informed consent should be obtained and documented. See the General Medical Council's Good practice in prescribing and managing medicines and devices for further information. Page 6 of 10

7 Indwelling suprapubic catheters Indwelling suprapubic catheters should be considered as an alternative to long-term urethral catheters. Be aware, and explain to women, that they may be associated with lower rates of symptomatic UTI, 'bypassing', and urethral complications than indwelling urethral catheters. For more information on catheters see long-term urinary catheters: prevention and control of healthcare-associated infections in primary and community care in the prevention and control of healthcare-associated infections pathway. Quality standards The following quality statement is relevant to this part of the pathway. 6. Indwelling catheters 5 Symptom scoring, quality-of-life assessment and bladder diaries Symptom scoring and quality-of-life assessment Use the following incontinence-specific quality-of-life scales when therapies are being evaluated: ICIQ, BFLUTS, I-QOL, SUIQQ, UISS, SEAPI-QMM, ISI and KHQ 1. Bladder diaries Use bladder diaries in the initial assessment of women with UI or OAB. Encourage women to complete a minimum of 3 days of the diary covering variations in their usual activities, such as both working and leisure days. Quality standards The following quality statement is relevant to this part of the pathway. 2. Bladder diaries and lifestyle changes 1 See full guideline for details. Page 7 of 10

8 6 Tests that should not be used in initial assessment Pad testing Do not use pad tests in the routine assessment of women with UI. 7 Categorise urinary incontinence and direct treatment towards the predominant symptom At the initial clinical assessment, categorise the woman's urinary incontinence (UI) as stress UI (SUI), mixed UI, or urgency UI/overactive bladder (OAB). Start initial treatment on this basis. In mixed UI, direct treatment towards the predominant symptom. Quality standards The following quality statement is relevant to this part of the pathway. 1. Initial assessment 8 Stress urinary incontinence See Urinary incontinence in women / Stress urinary incontinence 9 Overactive bladder See Urinary incontinence in women / Overactive bladder Page 8 of 10

9 Glossary BFLUTS Bristol Female Lower Urinary Tract Symptoms questionnaire. ICIQ International Consultation on Incontinence Questionnaire. ISI Incontinence Severity Index. I-QOL Incontinence Quality of Life questionnaire. KHQ King's Health Questionnaire. SEAPI-QMM Stress-related leak, Emptying ability, Anatomy, Protection, Inhibition, Quality of life, Mobility and Mental status Incontinence Classification System. SUIQQ Stress and Urge Incontinence and Quality-of-Life Questionnaire. UISS Urinary Incontinence Severity Score. Sources Urinary incontinence: the management of urinary incontinence in women (2013) NICE guideline CG171 Page 9 of 10

10 Your responsibility The guidance in this pathway represents the view of NICE, which was arrived at after careful consideration of the evidence available. Those working in the NHS, local authorities, the wider public, voluntary and community sectors and the private sector should take it into account when carrying out their professional, managerial or voluntary duties. Implementation of this guidance is the responsibility of local commissioners and/or providers. Commissioners and providers are reminded that it is their responsibility to implement the guidance, in their local context, in light of their duties to avoid unlawful discrimination and to have regard to promoting equality of opportunity. Nothing in this guidance should be interpreted in a way which would be inconsistent with compliance with those duties. Copyright Copyright National Institute for Health and Care Excellence All rights reserved. NICE copyright material can be downloaded for private research and study, and may be reproduced for educational and not-for-profit purposes. No reproduction by or for commercial organisations, or for commercial purposes, is allowed without the written permission of NICE. Contact NICE National Institute for Health and Care Excellence Level 1A, City Tower Piccadilly Plaza Manchester M1 4BT Page 10 of 10

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