Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Walker, Susan N.

Degree Name

M.S. (Master of Science)

Legacy Department

School of Nursing


Urinary incontinence; Older women


This study explored urinary incontinence in homebound aged women. It was designed to provide insight into the quality of life in the presence or absence of incontinence. Negative societal attitudes toward bodily functions lead aged individuals to attempt to hide their incontinence from others, thereby perpetuating the problem. As the elderly population increases, the problem of incontinence will likely grow in both numbers and significance. This ex post facto study investigated the similarities and differences in the self-reported perceptions of physical health, social interaction, and personal adjustment of two groups of homebound aged women: those who were experiencing urinary incontinence and those who were not. A convenience sample of 42 homebound female respondents, aged 65 years or more, was obtained from the client caseload of a metropolitan home health agency in the Midwest. Researcher-conducted interviews, using the Multilevel Assessment Instrument (MAI) developed by Lawton, Moss, Fulcomer, and Kleban (1982), were carried out in the home of each respondent. Three selected domains of the MAI were used. These subscales measured objective and subjective physical health status, quality and quantity of social interactions, and personal adjustment through components of morale and psychiatric symptoms. Data analysis was established on computer using the SPSSX subprogram T-Test. A series of three, one-tailed t tests were used to examine differences between the two groups on the subscales of physical health, social interaction, and personal adjustment. No significant difference was found between the continent group (n = 25) and the incontinent group (n = 17) in the domains of physical health or personal adjustment. There was a significant difference between the two groups in the domain of social interaction. Women with incontinence had significantly less social interaction, particularly interaction with family members, than the continent women. There was no significant difference in age between the two groups. Mean age for the entire population was 77.49 years. The two groups did not differ significantly in the number of medications they were taking, or whether or not the individual lived alone. A significant difference was found in the two groups with regard to the occupations they pursued during their working years.


Bibliography: pages 50-56.


x, 86 pages




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