Background: Previous studies about the prevalence and impact of lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) were focused on urinary incontinence or overactive bladder in the general population. Little research has been focused on the role that the workplace has in employed women's experiences with LUTS or the impact of LUTS on their health-related quality of life (HRQL). Objectives: To estimate the prevalence of LUTS among employed female nurses in Taipei and to compare the HRQL for nurses with and without LUTS. Design: This study was a cross-sectional, questionnaire survey. Settings: Three medical centers and five regional hospitals in Taipei were selected randomly. Participants: In the selected hospitals, 1065 female nurses were selected randomly. Data analyses were based on 907 usable surveys. All participants were native Taiwanese; most of the female nurses were 26-35 years of age (mean = 31.02, SD = 6.32), had normal body mass index, and had never given birth. Most nurses' bladder habits were poor or very poor and their personal habits of fluid consumption at work were inadequate. Methods: Data were collected using the Taiwan Nurse Bladder Survey and the Short Form 36 Taiwan version. Chi-square tests were used to compare the prevalence rates of different LUTS for nurses in different age groups. Student's t-tests were conducted to compare the mean scores of HRQL for nurses with and without LUTS. Results: Based on 907 usable surveys, 590 (65.0%) experienced at least one type of LUTS. The prevalence for different LUTS ranged from 8.0% to 46.5%. Nurses who reported LUTS also reported lower HRQL, more so on physical health than mental health, than nurses who did not report LUTS. Conclusions: : Although most of the nurses in this study were young (≦35 years) and nulliparous, LUTS were common among this group. The high prevalence rate of LUTS leads to concerns about nurses' possible dysfunctional voiding patterns and possible effects of working environment and poor bladder and personal habits on LUTS. Study results showed a possible negative impact of LUTS on nurses' physical health. Designing a continence-related education program for this group is essential for delivering information about LUTS prevention and management.
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