Prevalence of urinary catheterization in UK nursing homes

Cliodna McNulty*, E. Freeman, Gillian Smith, K. Gunn, C. Foy, David Tompkins, A. Brady, K. Cartwright

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    34 Citations (Scopus)


    A postal questionnaire survey was undertaken in registered nursing homes in three different health districts in England: Gloucestershire, North Staffordshire and Leeds. Nursing homes may be registered as general nursing or mental health homes. If homes also have provision for residential beds these are defined as dual registered homes. Overall, 9% (438/4900) of residents, with an equal male:female split, had urinary catheters. There was no significant difference in the overall urinary catheterization rate in the three districts (P=0.9). There was a wide range of urinary catheterization prevalence between homes, with some homes of all three categories having no catheterized residents and several with a prevalence of over 40%. The wide range of prevalence may be due to differences in residents' underlying medical conditions or to differences in attitudes towards urinary catheterization by nursing home staff. Almost all homes (114/124, 92%) stated they had an infection control policy, but 31% (38/124) did not have a written policy on urinary catheter care. In view of the potential for morbidity, infection control policies should include a section on the care of urinary catheters and this should form part of the continuing training of nursing home staff.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)119-123
    Number of pages5
    JournalJournal of Hospital Infection
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - Oct 2003


    • Elderly
    • Infection control policies
    • Nursing homes
    • Prevalence rate
    • Urinary catheterization


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