Vol. 2 No. 1 (2019)

Using Mindfulness Approaches to Treat Urge Urinary Incontinence in Older Adult Women: A Scoping Review

Felsted KF
College of Nursing, University of Utah, USA
Supiano KP
College of Nursing, University of Utah, USA

Published 2019-01-21


  • urge urinary incontinence,
  • mindfulness,
  • older adults,
  • older adult women,
  • complementary and integrative therapies


Objectives: The research literature was examined to evaluate evidence of mindfulness approaches to treat urge urinary incontinence in older adult women. Older adult women with urge urinary incontinence are not sufficiently treated with current practices, yet the potential application of mindfulness-based stress reduction to urge urinary incontinence is relatively unknown.
Methods: A scoping review was conducted to locate scientific literature using mindfulness to treat urinary incontinence in older adult women. No studies examined mindfulness for urinary incontinence specifically in an older adult female, or older adult, population. No mixed gender studies, nor studies only on men, with mindfulness as treatment of urinary incontinence were discovered.
Results: Two studies met the expanded inclusion criteria of mindfulness as a treatment for urinary incontinence in adults (not specifically older adults). Both demonstrated that mindfulness-based stress reduction reduced urge urinary incontinence symptoms and increased health-related quality of life and global impression of improvement after completion of the intervention and at follow-up.
Conclusions: Mindfulness-based stress reduction remains a novel approach. Preliminary research indicates mindfulness-based stress reduction works in the general population to reduce urge urinary incontinence, but has not been examined in large clinical trials, or in special populations such as adults 65 and older. There is a paucity of research investigating urinary urge incontinence in older adult women, notably studies which evaluate both conventional and integrative approaches. As such, future research is indicated to identify efficacious treatment approaches to address this distressing and common condition.