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Researchers Call Bladder Continence an Important Marker of Recovery in Post-Acute Stroke Patients

Two researchers at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine have determined that recovery of bladder continence is an important factor in predicting good outcomes for post-acute stroke patients.

David S. Kushner, M.D.

David S. Kushner, M.D., clinical professor, and Douglas Johnson-Greene, Ph.D., M.P.H., research professor, both in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, conducted a retrospective observational study of 303 stroke patients admitted to inpatient rehabilitation from 2012 to 2015 with complete urinary incontinence and requiring total assistance for bladder management.

“Urinary incontinence, which is common in acute stroke patients, was previously considered a factor associated with a higher likelihood of an adverse outcome, such as a poor functional recovery and the need for institutional care,” said Dr. Kushner. “Our study shows that the recovery of bladder continence in previously bladder-incontinent stroke patients during inpatient rehabilitation is associated with good cognitive, physical and social outcomes.”

The researchers’ findings were published in a recent article in the Journal of Stroke & Cerebrovascular Diseases.

Douglas Johnson-Greene, Ph.D., M.P.H.

Their findings also supported those in a previous study, which found that the recovery of continence by the time of discharge from inpatient rehabilitation was associated with favorable functional recovery in severe traumatic brain injury patients.

“Bladder continence is an important marker of recovery, so every effort should be made to promote recovery of urinary continence in stroke patients,” said Dr. Kushner. “Inpatient rehabilitation helps through improvement of mobility and physical function, as well as cognition, including verbal expression, comprehension/insight and problem-solving skills.”

Tags: bladder continence, David S. Kushner, Douglas Johnson-Greene, stroke outcomes