International Urogynecology Journal

, Volume 30, Issue 2, pp 171–180 | Cite as

Women’s knowledge, attitude and practice related to urinary incontinence: systematic review

  • Camila Teixeira Moreira VasconcelosEmail author
  • Mariana Luisa Veras Firmiano
  • Mônica Oliveira Batista Oriá
  • José Ananias Vasconcelos Neto
  • Dayana Maia Saboia
  • Leonardo Robson Pereira Sobreira Bezerra
Review Article



Knowledge, attitude and practice (KAP) investigations lead to an understanding of what a particular population group knows, thinks and does in relation to a certain subject.


This systematic review was conducted to identify women’s KAP related to urinary incontinence (UI) described in the literature and the measurement/evaluation instruments used. A literature search, up to July 2017, was conducted in PUBMED, SCOPUS and BVS (Virtual Health Library) for articles dealing with women’s KAP related to UI that described the validation procedure of any data collection instrument. Articles that investigated exclusively male subjects, provider performance or academic teaching strategies were excluded. Relevant studies were analyzed and briefly summarized.


Initially, 799 articles were retrieved. After applying the inclusion and exclusion criteria, 19 remained for reading and summarizing. There has been interest in identifying and evaluating some of the KAP elements related to UI since 1994, with a wide variety of validated instruments used. Knowledge was evaluated in 15 articles and all concluded that there was misinformation about UI in the populations studied. Seven articles studied the intention to seek healthcare for UI, among which only one evidenced an adequate attitude in more than 70% of the participants. All the articles that investigated practice revealed low rates of seeking care.


The KAP elements are influenced by specific questions in each of the studied populations, leading to unique results, which indicates the importance of investigations using standardized data collection instruments that have psychometric validity tested in the target populations.


Knowledge Attitudes and practices Urinary incontinence Women Validated questionnaires 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflicts of interest



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Copyright information

© The International Urogynecological Association 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Camila Teixeira Moreira Vasconcelos
    • 1
    Email author
  • Mariana Luisa Veras Firmiano
    • 1
  • Mônica Oliveira Batista Oriá
    • 1
  • José Ananias Vasconcelos Neto
    • 2
  • Dayana Maia Saboia
    • 1
  • Leonardo Robson Pereira Sobreira Bezerra
    • 1
  1. 1.Federal University of CearáFortalezaBrazil
  2. 2.General Hospital of FortalezaFortalezaBrazil

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