Exploring the information needs of people living with a long-term indwelling urinary catheter: A qualitative study
© 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd. Aims: To explore the information needs of long-term indwelling urinary catheter users, the consequences for patients of inadequate information and how these needs could be met. Background: Previous studies have drawn attention to the lack of information given to indwelling catheter users and how users would benefit from more. Little is known about the varied and detailed information needs of long-term indwelling catheter users. Design: A qualitative interpretative approach was used, combining thematic analysis with constant comparison. A diverse sample of people living in the community with a catheter for 3 months or longer was recruited. Methods: Interviews were conducted using a narrative approach. Thirty-six interviews were conducted in England, Wales and Scotland between 2011-2013. Results: Participants ranged in age from 22-96 years. After having a catheter fitted they wanted more technical information about it and information to help prevent catheter-related physical problems (infection, blockage, leaking), on sexual activity and the siting of catheters and about managing a social life with a catheter. In its absence, patients sometimes experimented with the catheter, learning to live with it through trial and error, used the Internet to find out more, or contacted other patients or organizations. Conclusion: Research has consistently shown that indwelling catheter users need to be given more information but some patients still feel poorly informed. Nurses are in a good position to find out what people know, what they need, and to ensure that patients have contact phone numbers for further information and details of reliable websites and support organizations.