Comparing transurethral and suprapubic catheterization for long-term bladder drainage: A qualitative study of the patients' perspective
© 2015 by the Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nurses Society. PURPOSE: To explore why men and women decide to have a suprapubic catheter, how the decision is made, and to compare people's experiences of suprapubic and transurethral catheterization for long-term bladder drainage. DESIGN: Narrative interviews followed by thematic analysis. SUBJECTS AND SETTING: Thirty-six long-term catheter users living in England, Wales, or Scotland were interviewed. The sample included men and women from various socioeconomic backgrounds, with a wide range of conditions. They were aged 22 to 96 years (M = 57 years). METHODS: Interviews lasted between 1 and 3 hours; they were audiotaped and fully transcribed for analysis. A qualitative interpretive approach was taken, combining thematic analysis with constant comparison. RESULTS: Some respondents were satisfied with or preferred a urethral catheter; others preferred a suprapubic catheter because they perceived that suprapubic catheters led to fewer infections, were more hygienic, more comfortable, improved self-image, allowed a sense of control, and were better suited for sexual relations. Participants also mentioned the decision-making process, including how the decision was made to have a suprapubic catheter and where to insert the catheter at a particular point in the abdomen. Even with a suprapubic catheter, some worried about sex or were put off sexual intimacy because of the catheter. CONCLUSION: Our findings suggest that patients should be better informed before a suprapubic catheter is inserted and that issues such as sex should be raised in consultations when appropriate.