Urinary incontinence (UI) affects between 40 and 60% of people in hospital after stroke, but is often poorly managed in stroke units.
To inform an exploratory trial by three methods: identifying the organisational context for embedding the SVP; exploring health professionals’ views around embedding the SVP and measuring presence/absence of UI and frequency of UI episodes at baseline and six weeks post-stroke.
A mixed methods single case study included analysis of organisational context using interviews with clinical leaders analysed with soft systems methodology, a process evaluation using interviews with staff delivering the intervention and analysed with Normalisation Process Theory, and outcome evaluation using data from patients receiving the SVP and analysed using descriptive statistics.
An 18 bed acute stroke unit in a large Foundation Trust (a ‘not for profit’ privately controlled entity not accountable to the UK Department of Health) serving a population of 370,000.
Health professionals and clinical leaders with a role in either delivering the SVP or linking with it in any capacity were recruited following informed consent. Patients were recruited meeting the following inclusion criteria: aged 18 or over with a diagnosis of stroke; urinary incontinence (UI) as defined by the International Continence Society; conscious; medically stable as judged by the clinical team and with incontinence classified as stress, urge, mixed or ‘functional’.
All patients admitted to the unit during the intervention period were screened for eligibility; informed consent to collect baseline and outcome data was sought from all eligible patients.
Organisational context: 18 health professionals took part in four group interviews. Findings suggest an environment not conducive to therapeutic continence management and a focus on containment of UI. Embedding the SVP into practice: 21 nursing staff took part in six group interviews. Initial confusion gave way to embedding of processes facilitated by new routines and procedures. Patient outcome: 43 patients were recruited; 28 of these commenced the SVP. Of these, 6/28 (21%) were continent at six weeks post-stroke or discharge.
It was possible to embed the SVP into practice despite an organisational context not conducive to therapeutic continence care. Recommendations are made for introducing the SVP in a trial context.
- case study
- normalisation process theory
- urinary incontinence