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Commentary
June 2, 2010

Talking About IncontinenceThe First Step Toward Prevention and Treatment

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: VA Health Economics Resource Center and Stanford University Department of Health Research and Policy, Menlo Park, California (Dr Wagner); and University of California, San Francisco, Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology & Reproductive Science, Epidemiology and Urology (Dr Subak).

JAMA. 2010;303(21):2184-2185. doi:10.1001/jama.2010.747

Among adult patients, discussions about incontinence are usually avoided because they evoke feelings of embarrassment, fear, shame, and the loss of independence.1 Incontinence has been associated with falls, functional decline, nursing home admissions, social isolation, and depressive symptoms,2,3 and patients often say, “Incontinence doesn't kill you, but it takes your life away.”

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