Departments Special communication| Volume 99, ISSUE 10, P2118-2121, October 2018

Optimal Bladder Management Following Spinal Cord Injury: Evidence, Practice and a Cooperative Approach Driving Future Directions in Australia


      We examined spinal cord injury (SCI) catheterization practices in Australia to understand practice patterns and consistency with research evidence. A national facilitated discussion forum was held during the annual Australian and New Zealand Spinal Cord Society conference attended by 66 conference delegates. Initially, presentations were given on the latest laboratory research examining bladder changes following SCI; an overview of evidence-based recommendations indicating that intermittent catheterization is best practice; and results of a single-center practice audit that demonstrated substantial delay in transition between acute SCI and intermittent catheterization. The ensuing discussion covered current catheterization practices in both inpatient SCI units and the community and highlighted gaps between evidence and practice, with considerable variation in practice between centers and settings. Reported challenges to implementing best practice included social, economic, and resource factors. A disconnect between hospital and community practice was also identified as an important barrier to long-term uptake of intermittent catheterization following acute SCI. The discussion identified 3 proposed activities: (1) explore current practice and bladder health following SCI in greater depth across SCI units and in local communities through audits and standardized biochemical analysis; (2) determine the behavioral drivers of current practice; and (3) develop a knowledge translation strategy to better align practice with current clinical practice guidelines.


      List of abbreviations:

      ANZSCoS (Australian and New Zealand Spinal Cord Society), CPG (clinical practice guideline), IC (intermittent catheterization), IDC (indwelling catheter), SCI (spinal cord injury), UTI (urinary tract infection)
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