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European Journal of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine 2021 Oct 15

DOI: 10.23736/S1973-9087.21.07104-5

Copyright © 2021 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Nocturnal bladder emptying and quality of life in patients with spinal cord injury

Annick M. VIAENE 1 , Saskia ROGGEMAN 2, 3, Omer A. VANHAUTE 4, Ann RAES 5, Roos COLMAN 6, Karel EVERAERT 2

1 Department of Physical Medicine and Orthopedic Surgery, Ghent University Hospital, Ghent, Belgium; 2 Department of Urology, Ghent University Hospital, Ghent, Belgium; 3 Research and Policy Department, Psychiatric Center Sint-Jan-Baptist, Zelzate, Belgium; 4 Strategic Policy Cell, Ghent University Hospital, Ghent, Belgium; 5 Department of Pediatric Nephrology, Ghent University Hospital, Ghent, Belgium; 6 Department of Public Health and Primary Care, Biostatistics Unit, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium


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BACKGROUND: Little is known about the relationship between sleep disruption due to nocturnal bladder emptying and quality of life in patients with spinal cord injury
AIM: To evaluate the possible influence of number of nocturnal bladder emptyings, bladder emptying method and nocturnal incontinence on the quality of life of patients with spinal cord injury.
DESIGN: Cross-sectional descriptive study.
SETTING: In- and outpatient.
POPULATION: 79 patients aged between 18 and 77 years with SCI in a first rehabilitation period or follow up.
METHODS: Patients were asked to complete Short Form-36 and Incontinence Quality of Life questionnaires and a medical information form. Independent samples t-tests and ANOVA were used to compare scores between groups.
RESULTS: The response rate was 71 out of 79 (89%; 51 males and 20 females). 16 paraplegic and 4 tetraplegic patients were chronic, 29 paraplegic and 22 tetraplegic patients were in rehabilitation therapy or had finished this treatment recently. The paraplegic group had a significantly better Short Form-36 total score and emotional function score, while the tetraplegic group had a significantly better Incontinence Quality of Life total score and avoidance and limiting behaviour score. The paraplegic patients with 0-1 nocturnal bladder emptyings had better Short Form-36-derived quality of life than those with ≥2 emptyings. Quality of life score was not associated with gender, leg oedema, incontinence, or acute/chronic group. Incontinence Quality of Life score was significantly better for patients with incomplete spinal cord injury. Fully completed questionnaires were returned by 36 patients; at least 1 item was missing for 35 participants.
CONCLUSIONS: General Short Form-36-derived quality of life was better for the paraplegic population. Incontinence-related quality of life was better in tetraplegic patients, most of whom used suprapubic catheterisation. Paraplegic patients had compromised sleep and quality of life when the patient had to wake up two or more times at night to empty the bladder by voiding or intermittent catheterisation. The high number of incomplete responders indicates the shortcomings of quality of life questionnaires for wheelchair-bound patients with spinal cord injury.
CLINICAL REHABILITATION IMPACT: The use of suprapubic catheterisation should be considered to improve quality of life for tetraplegic patients. For paraplegic patients, we must focus urological policy on aiming to reduce the number of nighttime bladder emptyings to one or none.


KEY WORDS: Spinal cord injury; Nocturnal polyuria; Nocturnal catheterisation; Bladder emptying; Suprapubic catheter

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