An Evolutionary Concept Analysis of Urinary Incontinence

Nicole Zhang


Urol Nurs. 2018;38(6):289-295. 

In This Article


This concept analysis provides a useful definition of UI for nurse educators. It is a holistic definition that elucidates nuances and complexities of the patient with UI. It is time nursing begins to teach nurses to reevaluate the linear relationship of UI and skin care issues. While skin management is important, many other interventions and actions should also be taken to provide state of the science care for patients with UI.

The concept map provides a learning tool for nurses. The map depicts the gestalt of development of UI. It also depicts the malleability. The cyclical model may implies that nurses and other healthcare professional can have a significant role in ending the cycle of UI. These educational tools can be used to education all care providers. Because UI is exceptionally prevalent, sometimes it can be perceived as a normal, expected health condition. Even in the context of aging and senescence, UI is not normal. Frequent educational refreshers on UI using this definition and model can remind healthcare professionals of care needs, both physical and psychological, for the patient with UI.

In conclusion, UI is an evolving concept. There is significant history in the word incontinence, which rationalizes those with UI to feel negatively about their scenario. Thinking of the concept holistically rather than in isolation will be key to improving patient outcomes. Healthcare professionals should also self-reflect on their own ideas and perceptions of UI. This awareness may lead to interventions that can positively affect the environment and UI management. Every healthcare professional must include patients in active discussion about management and cause(s) of UI. Education should also be an underpinning for those with UI and for staff managing this issue. No longer can incontinence simply be accepted, like in the work, "Old Folk in Wet Beds" (Newman, 1962). There must be a collective push to find better ways to manage UI, especially in the older adult.