Does socioeconomic status explain racial differences in urinary incontinence knowledge?

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This study was undertaken to discover whether urinary incontinence knowledge differs between racial/ethnic groups. If incontinence knowledge differs between racial/ethnic groups, is the difference explained by socioeconomic status (SES).

Study design

In this cross-sectional study, 212 women from 3 counties in California were interviewed by telephone. Urinary incontinence knowledge was measured by an Incontinence Quiz. SES was calculated. Race was categorized as white or minority (non-Hispanic black, Hispanic, and other).


White women scored better than minority women on the Incontinence Quiz (6.16 ± 2.86 vs 5.46 ± 2.66, P = .071). Higher SES was significantly associated with higher Incontinence Quiz total score (r = 0.177, P = .010). Racial differences in Incontinence Quiz total score no longer trended toward significance after adjusting for SES in multivariable analysis. Race/ethnicity and SES were analyzed for association with each question of the Incontinence Quiz


Socioeconomic status explains racial differences in total urinary incontinence knowledge. Consideration of socioeconomic status may improve the effectiveness of urinary incontinence educational programs.

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