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Keywords

Spinal cord injury, spina bifida and research, bladder, management

 

Authors

  1. Faleiros, Fabiana PhD

Abstract

A major complication for individuals with spina bifida (SB) is managing their neurogenic bladder. For many, this process evokes negative feelings associated with guilt, dependence, and lack of self-worth.

 

Purpose: The aim of the study was to compare feelings that hinder the performing of intermittent bladder catheterization reported by individuals with SB and their families in two countries of different sociocultural characteristics: Brazil and Germany.

 

Design and Methods: Quantitative and comparative study with convenience sampling. The sample comprised 200 SB patients and their caregivers, 100 from Brazil and 100 from Germany.

 

Findings: When asked about the existence of negative feelings or ideas that may hinder the performance of key person responsible for IC, 155 (77.5%) participants did not report such feelings. On the other hand, 45 (22.5%) reported emotional difficulties; among these participants, 31 (69%) were Brazilians and 14 (31%) were Germans.

 

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance: Although emotional factors are important to the adjustment of using IC methods for bladder management, the majority of people with SB and their caregivers seem to report no major emotional difficulties with this process. Yet a considerable group of participants did report such emotional difficulties associated with fear and shame. Knowing more about the factors associated with such negative feelings can facilitate interactions, provide mutual aid, and assist with resolution of practical concerns related to intermittent bladder catheterization.