Published: 16-12-2009 00:00 | Updated: 26-11-2013 10:24

Research to support continence in elderly people

[PRESS RELEASE 15 December 2009] Karolinska Institutet is participating in a new international project to translate evidence-based knowledge about urinary incontinence into actual improvements in care for the elderly, as part of a four-year EU-funded programme.

The FIRE project, which is about implementing existing scientific evidence in the treatment of urinary incontinence in frail elderly in nursing homes, is already under way and will run until 2012. It involves distributing guidelines, facilitating staff in the application of these guidelines, and evaluating both the guidelines and the implementation process and results achieved.

"By taking part in this major study, we'll be able to improve care for the elderly in Sweden when it comes to urinary incontinence," says registred nurse, researcher Lars Wallin, who is coordinating the Swedish part of the project. "The need for improvements in eldery care has been an issue for some time, and often people have tried to solve quality problems with training initiatives. However, to really improve care, we also need to know more, especially about the contextual factors that help translate new knowledge into practice."

The study will be performed in four countries across Europe (Sweden, the UK, Ireland and the Netherlands), with the possibility of also including care units in Australia. Conferences and network activities will be used to involve other countries in Europe and world wide. The actual project is a collaboration between Karolinska Institutet, six other universities in Europe, the University of Alberta in Canada and the University of Adelaide in Australia.

"We hope to help improve quality of life for elderly people with extensive care needs, as well as for their next of kin, while also reducing the cost of nursing care," says senior project manager Kate Seers, professor at the University of Warwick in the UK.

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