A Decision Aid for Intermittent Self-Catheterization

A Decision Aid for Intermittent Self-Catheterization

Helping patients help themselves

Decision aids are valuable tools for healthcare professionals to support patients in deciding whether they can help manage their own treatment. These aids can compliment rather than replace healthcare counseling.1 As such; self-catheterization can be a daunting task for newly diagnosed urinary incontinent patients.

Recognizing this, a group of Canadian Association for Enterostomal Therapy (CAET) members decided to develop a decision aid for self-catheterization.2 This article reviews a published study of that development, along with the decision aid, which was published on the CAET web site.

First, to see if this decision aid would be of value, clinicians and patients were surveyed to determine its usefulness.

The survey results showed that “a formalized decision aid for intermittent self-catheterization would:

  1. Reduce patient stress when considering self-catheterization,
  2. Improve patient’s and caregiver’s willingness to learn a new skill,
  3. Provide the framework for a patient to use when questioning and seeking support from his or her health care team.

One patient stated ‘This would have been a huge help when the doctor first told me I was going to have to self-catheterize.’” 2

A literature search produced 35 articles with the following search terms: “urine retention,” urinary incontinence,” and “self-catheterization.” The articles were distributed to a group of reviewers through Dropbox Web service and Google Docs was used so all could see what was written by anyone in the group. “This cloud technology proved invaluable for group editing via teleconference calls.”2

The original aid was deemed too long and not conducive to decision making. Thus it was streamlined to two-sided 8½ by 11 inches in a three-fold format, so it could be easily printed and handed out to patients. The decision aid is available from the CAET website: caet.ca/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/CAET_DecisionAid_Oct2015_WebReady.pdf.

The decision aid was developed with the assistance of the Ontario Hospital Research Group (Ottawa Hospital Research Institute [OHRI]), which has a development tool kit available online at: decisionaid.ohri.ca/resources.html.2

1 Ontario Hospital Research Institute. Patient decision aids. https://decisionaid.ohri.ca. Published August 21, 2014. Accessed May 11, 2015.

2 Brown, J. et al. (2016). Development of a decision aid for intermittent self-catheterization. Journal of Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nursing. 43(1) 15-16.