Urinary incontinence (UI) is a distressing and embarrassing condition that occurs in around 70% of older people who live in nursing or residential care homes. It is common in those who have dementia and has a major impact on dignity and quality of life.
There is evidence from small-scale studies that transcutaneous posterior tibial nerve stimulation (TPTNS) is a safe and acceptable way to improve bladder problems. TPTNS involves placing two sticky pads (surface electrodes) on a person’s ankle and connecting these to a small, pocket sized electrical simulator. This sends an electric pulse to the nerve near the ankle which also controls the bladder and reduces the feeling of sudden urgency, giving more time to find a toilet. TPTNS also increases the volume of urine the bladder can hold, so it does not need to be emptied as often. Better quality evidence regarding the effectiveness of TPTNS on UI is needed before it is used for everyday treatment.
What is this Trial about?
Bladder problems, including urine leakage (incontinence), are common in older people who live in a care home. There are not many options to treat the cause, so most older people who have urinary incontinence wear absorbent pads to catch the leakage. Transcutaneous posterior tibial nerve stimulation, also called TPTNS, is a new type of treatment which has helped many men and women to reduce their urinary leakage and improve their bladder problems.
However, this treatment has not been tested with older people who live in care homes. We want to investigate if TPTNS helps older people who live in care homes.
Who is funding the Trial?
This research is funded by the NHS National Institute for Health Research Evaluation, Trials and Studies Coordinating Centre, Health Technology Assessment programme (NETSCC HTA) (ref: 15/130/73). It is sponsored by Glasgow Caledonian University and includes experienced healthcare researchers from 6 universities, the NHS and the independent care home sector.
Who is eligible to take part in this trial?
The trial is open to male and female residents in Care Homes (residential and nursing) for older adults of all ages in England and Scotland who are experiencing urinary incontinence, including those with cognitive impairment.
How long is the Trial?
The Trial started in July 2017 and will run until June 2020.
Who should I contact for more information?
Prof Jo Booth
Tel. 0141 331 8635
Tel. 0141 331 8012
The ELECTRIC study is funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Health Technology Assessment (HTA) programme (project: 15/130/73) (Funding dates: 01/07/2017 – 30/06/2020) . For more information please visit www.nets.nihr.ac.uk.