Management of bladder dysfunction in multiple sclerosis patients: the nurse's point of view

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It is estimated that as many as 90% of people with multiple sclerosis (MS) experience some type of urinary disturbance over the course of the disease. The importance of an interdisciplinary approach is crucial in the management of a symptom requiring the involvement of different professionals, with specific expertise in evaluation and treatment. The MS nurse is perhaps the professional most likely to be in a position to initiate the process of identifying urological dysfunction. The evaluation can be started by reviewing symptoms recorded in the patient's medical records over time. Along with the use of a urinary diary and a check of the patient's post-void residual at the time of each visit, this can aid the MS nurse in recognising which urinary dysfunction could be affecting the patient. The MS nurse can also have an important role in teaching the patient behaviour strategies that aid in both evaluating and treating urinary dysfunction. Finally, the MS nurse can be the primary instructor of techniques related to intermittent catheterisation procedures. A new topic highlighting the ever-developing role of the MS nurse is in the field of rehabilitation. This article highlights urinary symptoms experienced by people with MS and strategies used for treating them. The role of the MS nurse in managing urinary dysfunction is also discussed.

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