Study of urinary incontinence affecting the quality of life and health seeking behavior in women of an urban slum in Mumbai

Jyoti S. Mandge, Armaity Dehmubed


Background: Urinary incontinence (UI) defined by the International Continence Society as the complaint of any involuntary leakage of urine, is a social or hygiene problem. The purpose of this study was to determine how UI affected quality of life (QOL) of women in urban slum in Mumbai and also their health care seeking behavior for the same.

Methods: A pre-formed, pre-tested, semi-structured questionnaire was designed for a centre based study, to collect information from 1200 eligible and willing women over a period of 6 months. Of these 361 had complaints of UI how had the UI affected their quality of life and whether they sought health care for treatment of same was studied. Data was entered in Microsoft Excel and analysis was done accordingly.

Results: Of the 361 women who had UI, the QOL was affected as in avoiding social interactions 45.15%, avoiding religious functions 49.03%, feeling of emotional upset/distress 59.8% and hampering of domestic work 57.8%. The extra financial burden felt due to UI was only in 7.7% women and only 1.9% complained of sexual life getting affected. Health care services for treatment of UI were sought by only 24.1% of the affected women.

Conclusions: That UI affected the QOL of women affected with it in terms of reduced social interactions and attendance at religious programs and the feeling of emotional upset and hampering of domestic works. Subjects felt their financial burden had increased due to UI.


Urinary incontinence, Quality of life, Health care seeking behavior

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