Patients' experiences of learning clean intermittent self-catheterization: a qualitative study

Christine Shaw, Karen Logan, Irene Webber, Sandra Samuel, Lynne Broome

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Aim. This paper is a report of a study to explore the experiences of learning to carry out clean intermittent self-catheterization and user views of service provision. Background. This treatment imposes a variety of challenges to users, both physical and emotional. Safety, infection rates and complications have been investigated, but the practicalities of learning and performing self-catheterization have not been addressed. What is currently known about the topic from a user perspective is based on audit, small projects or anecdotal reports provided by continence advisers. Method. In-depth interviews were carried out in 2006 with eight men and seven women, aged 33-81 years (median 65), and carrying out self-catheterization for a variety of reasons. A grounded theory framework was used. Findings. Themes identified were psychological issues, physical problems and service interaction. The communication skills of nurses helped facilitate the learning experience. In conjunction with nurses' skills, a friendly relaxed approach alleviated embarrassment and anxiety, thus facilitating information exchange and retention of information. Conclusion. Adequate information and thorough instruction by healthcare professionals helps empower people to take control and master the treatment, with potential contribution to ongoing compliance and long-term urinary tract health. Development of a policy supporting evidence-based care and a consistent teaching programme is high recommended for us where this treatment is regularly employed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)32 - 40
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Advanced Nursing
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 18 Mar 2008


  • clean intermittent self-catheterization
  • continence
  • grounded theory
  • interviews
  • nursing
  • patient satisfaction
  • teaching


Dive into the research topics of 'Patients' experiences of learning clean intermittent self-catheterization: a qualitative study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this