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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Exploring older adults' experiences with the Nurse Continence Advisor role in Residential Long Term Care Gill, Jasjit


Background: It is estimated that 60% of older adults living in Residential Long Term Care (RLTC) experience urinary incontinence that impacts them physically, psychosocially, emotionally and financially. Urinary incontinence can be an embarrassing and devastating experience that impacts older adults’ dignity and quality of life. Nurse Continence Advisors (NCA), experts in incontinence, are independent practitioners that can add value to quality of life who are unknown and under-utilized to health care teams as there is little information about them and so few practice in RLTC. Purpose: To understand the older adults’ experiences working with the NCA and their role and the potential of this role within the RLTC sector. Sample/Methods: Interpretive Description was the method of inquiry and multiple case studies were used to explore the older adults’ experiences of working with an NCA about their incontinence. A purposive sample of three older adults who worked with an NCA were interviewed using a semi-structured process. Data were collected through 1:1 interviews with the older adults and 1 staff member, chart and supporting document reviews. Results: All three participants revealed intense impact of UI on their quality of life, overall day to day function and embarrassment. The involvement of the NCA was positive leading to significant improvements in UI for all three participants affecting their quality of life. The study revealed added value to having NCA involved in UI issues such as UI knowledge, consistent documentation and assessment and strategies to improve UI. Implications: This study revealed the need for the NCA role within the RLTC sector and provides a closer and personal understanding of the impact of UI on older adults. It provides novel insights from the older adults’ experiences towards the broader knowledge of the NCA role that will assist health care providers in gaining knowledge about ways that UI affects older adults’ living in RTLC.

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