skip to page content
Talk to the Veterans Crisis Line now
U.S. flag
An official website of the United States government

Health Services Research & Development

Go to the ORD website
Go to the QUERI website

HSR&D Citation Abstract

Search | Search by Center | Search by Source | Keywords in Title

Urinary Incontinence and Health-Seeking Behavior Among White, Black, and Latina Women.

Siddiqui NY, Ammarell N, Wu JM, Sandoval JS, Bosworth HB. Urinary Incontinence and Health-Seeking Behavior Among White, Black, and Latina Women. Female pelvic medicine & reconstructive surgery. 2016 Sep 1; 22(5):340-5.

Related HSR&D Project(s)

Dimensions for VA is a web-based tool available to VA staff that enables detailed searches of published research and research projects.

If you have VA-Intranet access, click here for more information

VA staff not currently on the VA network can access Dimensions by registering for an account using their VA email address.
   Search Dimensions for VA for this citation
* Don't have VA-internal network access or a VA email address? Try searching the free-to-the-public version of Dimensions


OBJECTIVE: Fewer than half of women with urinary incontinence (UI) seek care for their condition. Our objective was to qualitatively assess the themes surrounding treatment-seeking behaviors. METHODS: We conducted 12 focus groups with women and, using purposive sampling, we stratified by racial or ethnic group (white, black, Latina) and by UI frequency. All sessions were transcribed and coded for common themes. Comparative thematic analysis was used to describe similarities and differences among groups. RESULTS: In total, 113 (39 white, 41 black, and 33 Latina) community-dwelling women participated in focus groups. There were no differences in treatment-seeking themes between groups with different UI frequency. However, certain themes emerged when comparing racial/ethnic groups. Women from all groups shared experiences of embarrassment and isolation because of UI, which were impediments to care seeking. White and black women described discussions with close friends or family that led to normalization of symptoms and prevented care seeking. Latina women maintained more secrecy about UI and reported the longest delays in seeking care. Women articulated a higher likelihood of seeking care if they had knowledge of treatment options, but white women were more likely to seek UI-related knowledge compared with black or Latina women. Physician communication barriers were identified in all groups. CONCLUSIONS: Despite similar experiences, there are different perceptions about care seeking among white, black, and Latina women. Culturally relevant educational resources that focus on a range of treatment options may improve knowledge and thus improve care-seeking behaviors in women with UI.

Questions about the HSR&D website? Email the Web Team

Any health information on this website is strictly for informational purposes and is not intended as medical advice. It should not be used to diagnose or treat any condition.