Study questions incontinence documentation

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Although medical records may indicate a small percentage of female nursing home residents suffer symptoms of urinary incontinence, the reality may be that nearly half of them do. This is according to researchers at the University of California in Los Angeles.

Using data from the 1999 National Nursing Home Survey, which includes information collected from nearly 1,500 facilities, investigators found less than 2% of female residents had been diagnosed with urinary incontinence. Nevertheless, the same data indicates that nearly 59% all the women residents were reported to have difficulty controlling urination, and more than half required assistance in using the toilet, the analysis found.

"It shows that very few doctors focus on incontinence or even address the issue, and there needs to be better inquiry," said Dr. Jennifer Anger, a UCLA researcher. The study was reported in the journal Urology.