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Women’s Preventive Services Initiative says screen all women annually for urinary incontinence

Review: http://annals.org/aim/article/doi/10.7326/M18-0225
Guideline (Free): http://annals.org/aim/article/doi/10.7326/M18-0595
Editorial: http://annals.org/aim/article/doi/10.7326/M18-1768
URLs go live when the embargo lifts

All women should be screened annually for urinary incontinence, according to new guidelines from the Women’s Preventive Services Initiative (WPSI). Screening should assess whether women experience urinary incontinence and whether it affects their activities and quality of life. If treatment is indicated, women should be referred for further evaluation. The clinical guideline and evidence review are published in Annals of Internal Medicine.

Urinary incontinence, or the involuntary loss of urine, affects an estimated 51 percent of women overall and can adversely affect a woman’s physical, functional, and social well-being. However, many women are reluctant to discuss urinary incontinence with their health care providers, so they may endure symptoms for a long time before the issue is addressed. Urinary incontinence is often never recognized by health care providers.

Researchers from Oregon Health and Science University conducted a systematic review of published studies to evaluate whether screening for urinary incontinence in women not previously diagnosed improved physical and functional outcomes. They also assessed studies on the accuracy of screening methods and potential harms. The researchers found

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