Free advice on managing urinary incontinence

The Agency for Health Care Policy and Research (AHCPR) in Rockville, MD, has released several free guides to help consumers and health care professionals deal with urinary incontinence.

Urinary incontinence affects millions of Americans and is a significant cause of chronic skin ulcers. It also is a primary reason people enter long-term care facilities. One of the guides, Helping People With Incontinence, helps primary caregivers establish and maintain regular toilet schedules for patients and discusses aids such as walkers and toilet supports. In addition, the guide emphasizes the need for caregivers to communicate with the doctors or nurses about patients’ health and medications.

AHCPR also offers the book, Alert: Establishing, Implementing, and Continuing an Effective Continence Program in a Long-Term Care Facility, as a professional companion to the caregiver’s guide. Written for nurses working with long-term care patients, the guide helps professionals train primary caregivers about the causes and treatments of urinary incontinence.

Managing Acute and Chronic Urinary Incontinence for clinicians and Understanding Incontinence for consumers also are available.

To receive a free copy of any of these guides, contact: Urinary Incontinence Update, AHCPR Publications Clearinghouse, P.O. Box 8567 Silver Spring, MD 20907. Telephone: (800) 358-9295. Instant Fax: (301) 594-2800. In addition, the full guideline, Urinary Incontinence in Adults: Acute and Chronic Management, as well as other guideline products, are available on the Internet through the AHCPR home page ( Click on "Clinical Practice Guidelines Online."