Brussels 15 October 2015 // On 1 July 2015, representatives of pan-European patient and civil society groups met to discuss the issue of incontinence and the provision of better continence care in Europe at home and in the community. In particular, participants focused their attention on setting up key policy recommendations to improve the management of care of people with incontinence and their carers. A 'hidden' or 'invisible' condition today, incontinence is often overshadowed by other chronic diseases. Yet incontinence is one of the most widespread and debilitating conditions to affect people over a life time.
For instance, almost all people with Spina Bifida have continence issues. If it is not well managed, urinary incontinence can cause kidney and other health-related issues and even premature death. Lieven Bauwens, Secretary General at IF, stated that incontinence is under-recognised and can have a significant impact on social inclusion.
As a result of the meeting, the participants released a Joint Position Statement to contribute to a better understanding of the emotional, family and social burden of incontinence in policy and stakeholder circles.