Theoretical framework: The Theory of Suffering by Katie Eriksson was used.
Aim: The aim was to illuminate factors that influence women’s choice to seek care for urinary incontinence.
Method: This literature review was based on a sample of nine qualitative and quantitative studies. Modified templates were used to assess the quality of the studies. Analysis of the results was done withmanifest content analysis.
Findings: Findings made clear that the experience of shame is a central factor for women not to seek treatment for their urinary incontinence UI. Women had to have severe loss of quality of life in order to seek help for their UI, and the loss of quality of life had to be subjectively larger than the feeling of shame.
Conclusion: Many women suffer in silence and feel great shame and embarrassment for having UI. They describe the feeling that there is still a taboo surrounding the subject and how it prevents them from talking openly about it. It is desirable with more research in this area that can explain why women associate such strong shame and embarrassment connected to their UI.
Key-words: urinary incontinence, activities of daily living, care seeking behavior, health care, acceptans of health care,.
2012. , 37 p.