This review examined the use of a fixed interval of voiding for the management of urinary incontinence in adults. This approach to urinary incontinence is thought to be common in aged care homes for people who require assistance from other people for toileting and continence care. The reviewers found two trials that had evaluated timed voiding. They included 298 elderly women who were living in aged care homes and had reduced cognition and impaired mobility. Reductions in the number of incontinence episodes were reported in each trial. The reviewers found insufficient data for these findings to be combined. Hence, at this point in time, there is not enough evidence on the effects of timed voiding for the management of urinary incontinence.
The data were too few and of insufficient quality to provide empirical support for or against the intervention of timed voiding.
Timed voiding is a fixed time interval toileting assistance program that has been promoted for the management of people with urinary incontinence who cannot participate in independent toileting. For this reason, it is commonly assumed to represent current practice in residential aged care settings.
To assess the effects of timed voiding for the management of urinary incontinence in adults who cannot participate in independent toileting.
We searched the Cochrane Incontinence Group Specialised Register (searched 2 April 2009), MEDLINE (January 1966 to November 2003), EMBASE (January 1980 to Week 18 2002), CINAHL (January 1982 to February 2001), PsycINFO (January 1972 to August 2002), Biological Abstracts (January 1980 to December 2000), Current Contents (January 1993 to December 2001) and the reference lists of relevant articles. We also contacted experts in the field, searched relevant websites and hand searched journals and conference proceedings.
We selected all randomised and quasi-randomised trials that addressed timed voiding in an adult population and that had an alteration in continence status as a primary outcome. We included those trials that had assessed timed voiding delivered either alone or in combination with another intervention and compared it with either usual care, or no timed voiding, or another intervention.
Data extraction and quality assessment were undertaken by at least two people working independently of each other. Any differences were resolved by discussion until agreement was reached. The relative risk for dichotomous data were calculated with 95% confidence intervals. Where data were insufficient to support a quantitative analysis, a narrative overview was undertaken.
Two trials with a total of 298 participants met the inclusion criteria. Both compared timed voiding plus additional intervention with usual care. In one of these timed voiding was combined with continence products, placement of a bedside commode for each participant, education to staff on transfer techniques, feedback and encouragement to staff, praise to participants for "successful responses" and administration of oxybutynin in small doses. The mean percentage who were incontinent when checked daily was 20% in the intervention group compared with 80% in the control group. No further between group analysis was possible from the data reported. The other trial combined timed voiding with a medical assessment and individualised medical management that was based on clinical data. Reduction in the number of participants with daytime and night-time incontinence was greater in the intervention group but this difference was statistically significant only for night-time wetting. There was no difference in the volume of urine lost as determined by pad weighing.
The methodological quality of these trials was not high based on the quality appraisal criteria of the Cochrane Incontinence Group. In particular, there was a lack of clarity regarding levels of blinding. It was not possible to combine data from trials. In both trials, the fixed schedule of toileting was combined with other interventions. The extent to which the results reflect the contribution of timed voiding is unknown because the trials' design did not allow assessment of the effects of the fixed schedule of toileting separately from other components of the interventions.