Course Overview


This Course examines why many people may experience urinary incontinence across their lifespan, and how this symptom can be managed in order to reduce the impact it can have on the person experiencing it and those who care for them.

Learning Outcomes

  • Use your understanding of the genitourinary anatomy and physiology to enhance patient education regarding the pathophysiology of their incontinence
  • Identify the causes and risk factors for urinary incontinence to initiate early interventions in order to prevent the progression of the condition
  • Effectively use an assessment tool to gather information from a person living with urinary incontinence to develop strategies to manage their condition
  • Interpret assessment information to correctly identify the type of urinary incontinence in order to develop a targeted plan to manage symptoms

Topics include:

  • Overview
  • Pathophysiology and risk factors
  • Assessment
  • The different types of incontinence

Target audience

This VLA is designed for all nurses and midwives at all levels of experience, working across a variety of settings. Whilst this VLA may be of interest to all nurses and midwives, it may be particularly useful for nurses working in the following settings:

  • Continence
  • Diabetes
  • Mental Health
  • Wound Management
  • Women’s Health
  • Gynaecology
  • Obstetrics
  • Aged Care
  • Primary Care


Further understanding of the causes of urinary incontinence, the people that are most at risk and how to assess people living with urinary incontinence in order to correctly identify the type of urinary incontinence.


International research shows that there are millions of people worldwide living with urinary incontinence. In Australia alone there is an estimated 4 million people living with this condition.

In 2013 the estimated economic cost of this symptom based disorder was understood to be some $1600 million. However, this figure does not take into account the other hidden costs of urinary incontinence including:

  • Continence aids;
  • Laundry;
  • Respite care;
  • Skin breakdown;
  • Loss to quality of life;
  • Emotional wellbeing; and
  • Unmet needs of carers.

The need for the health profession to improve their comprehension of urinary incontinence is an imperative that will ensure people living with this symptom-based disorder are assessed and managed appropriately.

Health professionals in Australia that are registered with AHPRA are required to obtain continuing professional development (CPD) hours/points each year that relates to their context of practice, in order to comply with mandatory regulatory requirements.