Urinary incontinence among Muslim women in Israel: risk factors and help-seeking behavior
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Introduction and hypothesis
The prevalence of urinary incontinence (UI) varies among women in different cultures. Muslim women with UI have complex issues related to the need for cleaning (ablution) before prayer. The aim was to assess the prevalence of UI, factors associated with it, its effect on quality of life, and help-seeking behavior among Muslim women.
This was a cross-sectional study. Self-administered questionnaires completed by women 18–75 years of age who visited the primary care clinic between 21 June 2015 and 9 October 2015 and additional data collected from their medical records.
A total of 492 women (mean age 31.8 ± 9.5 years) participated in the study. Of these, 43% suffered from UI and 19% from severe to very severe UI. The mean score for interference in daily life (0–10) was 6.3 ± 3.7. Sixty percent of women with UI had stress incontinence, 23% urge incontinence, and 9% mixed incontinence. Only 10% had consulted previously with their physician regarding UI. Increased BMI (OR = 1.048, 95% CI 1.009–1.089) and polygamy (OR = 1.943, 95% CI 1.007–3.749) were associated with severe to very severe UI. Age, parity, and more severe degrees of UI were associated with help-seeking behavior (OR = 1.065 95% CI 1.008–1.125, OR = 0.763 95% CI 0.624–0.934, OR = 4.073 95% CI 1.410–11.765 respectively).
Urinary incontinence is very common among Muslim women in primary care in southern Israel and significantly impairs their quality of life. Only a small percentage consults with their physician.
KeywordsUrinary incontinence Muslim women Bedouin Quality of life Help-seeking behavior
Compliance with ethical standards
This research was funded by a grant from the Israel Association of Family Physicians: 15,000 NIS.
Conflicts of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.
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