The use of a urinary catheter is very personal and the patients' needs should be carefully investigated before a catheter choice is made. This study reveals that convenience factors are as important to users as medical factors.
Among users of intermittent catheterization, convenience features such as discrete packaging and easy handling (e.g. ready-to-use, no lubricant needed), appear to be as important as the ability to reduce medical complications, such as urinary tract infections, trauma, pain and discomfort.
- The importance of catheter features related to convenience were expressed by experienced users of intermittent catheterization
- It was also confirmed as the main reason for switching catheters in a subgroup of patients who previously had a different catheter.
Therefore, different catheter types need to be tried out when prescribing a catheter to a user of intermittent catheterization, to best promote convenience in a patients’ daily life.
To maintain compliance/adherence, attention to the issue of convenience needs exploration in follow up visits. Patients should be continuously offered new and potentially more convenient catheters to evaluate when available.