AAG would like to congratulate the following individuals on their successful applications for the 2021 Strategic Innovation Program:
A/Prof Wendy Bower
The Royal Melbourne Hospital and the University of Melbourne
A/Prof Wendy Bower, physiotherapist and researcher at Royal Melbourne Hospital and the University of Melbourne, is leading a research team investigating bladder symptoms at night in older people. They have developed a new screening tool TANGO, which aids the user in targeting the aetiology of nocturia and guides individualised treatment. Current work is addressing use of sub-acute hospitalisation to identify and assess nocturnal bladder dysfunction and to implement multidisciplinary care that improves symptoms and quality of life while also aligning with patient preference.
Project: PUNCH Study: Multidisciplinary approach to identifying and addressing unmet continence needs in hospitalised older people during sub-acute care.
Project summary: At least 50% of older people in hospital have urinary incontinence, a symptom known to lengthen the stay in hospital and threaten independent self-care. People who require supervision to walk safely have a higher risk of urinary incontinence. The aim of this study is to improve the experience of mobilizing ion by identifying urinary incontinence during the admission, beginning effective treatment and linking patients into mobilizing community services after discharge.
Physiotherapists review hospitalised patients who have mobility limitations and assist them to move independently. During therapy sessions patients commonly ask to use the toilet and frequently disclose urinary tract symptoms, including urinary incontinence. This study will train physiotherapists to include urinary incontinence questions in their assessment of older patients. Once urinary incontinence is recognised, ward staff will start a process to obtain information that identifies the cause of incontinence. Patients with urinary incontinence will then commence treatment whilst they are still in hospital. In most cases urinary incontinence severity can be reduced, or leakage cured. The urinary incontinence care pathway to be developed for this study will continue after discharge from hospital when care will be transferred to mobilizing continence services within the community and patients managed by expert clinicians, including physiotherapists.
This study will improve dignity and quality of life of older people with urinary incontinence, reduce dependence on others to reach the toilet and lessen the risk of falling. Beginning the process to improve bladder problems during the hospital stay is cost effective and adds minimally to staff workload.