Use of Absorbent Products in Older Men and Women Are Associated with Depressive Symptoms: A Retrospective Study from a University Hospital

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European journal of geriatrics and gerontology (Online), vol.5, no.1, pp.78-83, 2023 (Scopus) identifier identifier


Objective: Urinary incontinence (UI) is defined as the involuntary leakage of urine. UI is a challenging geriatric syndrome and most of the patients use absorbent products or diapers to hold urine and protect their clothes. We aimed in this study to evaluate the relationship between the use of absorbent products and the presence of depressive symptoms in patients with UI. Materials and Methods: One-hundred and fifty-nine (159) community-dwelling older adults with UI who applied to our hospital outpatient clinic of geriatrics were included in the study. A comprehensive geriatric assessment was performed on the patients, and the risk of depression was evaluated with the Yesavage geriatric depression scale (GDS). Those with a GDS score of 5 and above were considered as presence of depressive symptoms. Results: Depressive symptoms were determined in 71 patients (44.6%). 91.2% of the patients were female, and the mean age was 73.6±6.4 years. The patients were divided into two groups according to the presence of depressive symptoms. The rate of use of absorbent products was 68.6% in the group with depressive symptoms and 45.9% in the group without depressive symptoms, and the difference was statistically significant (p<0.05). Use of absorbent products increases the risk of depression regardless of sex, living alone, multimorbidity, and severity and the type of incontinence (odds ratio: 2.65, 95% confidence interval: 1.27-5.57, p=0.010). Conclusion: The use of absorbent products in patients with UI is associated with the depressive symptoms. These patients should be screened for depression and evaluated for appropriate treatment options for incontinence and depression.