OWM Book Review: Reviewing Bladder Control is No Accident - A Woman's Guide
Bladder Control is No Accident – A Woman’s Guide is an excellent book for caregivers as well as women with urinary incontinence who seek a better understanding of the dynamics of the condition and the treatment modalities available. The book provides the knowledge necessary for the patient to work effectively in collaboration with her healthcare provider to control incontinence. Reader friendly in format, the book includes personal stories, assessment tools, and up-to-date information about the condition. It does a wonderful job of portraying self-help techniques and encouraging the reader about the manageability of the condition. The book is well organized and presents topics sequentially. The first chapter addresses the basic anatomy/physiology of the urinary system, providing information that enables readers to recognize a urinary incontinence problem. The impact of incontinence is discussed not only on a personal level, but also on a societal level. The reader is introduced to several “real life” people with incontinence problems. This leads easily into the second chapter, which discusses and defines the various types of urinary incontinence, risk factors, symptoms, and various options for treatment.
The most practical part of the book is chapter three, the “self-discovery” chapter, organized in a questionnaire format that allows the reader to conduct a personal health assessment to identify specific applicable risk factors. Medical history, mobility, bowel/bladder habits, urinary symptoms, and the specifics related to urine leakage are considered and can be recorded. A 24-hour “bladder habits” flowsheet is particularly helpful in the beginning stages of an incontinence management plan. This section also provides the baseline data necessary for the re-assessment phase of the plan after behavioral techniques have been tried. Chapter four covers “special problems” such as pelvic floor weakness, exercise incontinence, incontinence during sexual activity, menopause and incontinence, workplace incontinence, adult nocturia, and incontinence during pregnancy and after childbirth. Cause and treatment options available for each problem are presented.
Chapter five contains an excellent discussion of incontinence management plans. The “real life” stories told in the first chapter are continued and address the management and efficacy of techniques used. This presentation style effectively demystifies the sensitive issue of incontinence. Readers can identify with the situations presented and be encouraged by the success of the treatments. The chapter concludes with “10 steps to better bladder control” – simple guidelines for controlling urinary incontinence.
Chapter six focuses on bedwetting in children. Prevalence, causes, and treatment options including motivational techniques, conditioning, bladder training, fluid/dietary management, and medication options are presented. It is noted that combination therapy can result in a quicker positive outcome. Again, a scenario format is utilized to demonstrate how the child successfully manages his problem. Although bedwetting is an important aspect of incontinence and certainly of concern, this chapter detracted from the main issue of the book – women with urinary incontinence.
The final chapter is a resource guide that lists organizations, references, and a helpful glossary of terms.
Simplistically written for the average lay person in nontechnical language, the book also includes short notes from the author interspersed throughout the chapters to lend a sincere personal touch to the subject. Worksheets and flowsheets encourage the reader to assess and organize the information necessary for successful implementation of therapies. Quizzes located at the end of each chapter allow readers to test their comprehension of the material. Lay persons and medical professionals dealing with the stigma of urinary incontinence will find this book a timely and much needed resource for a problem that more and more women are handling on a daily basis.