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In November and December, we asked you questions about the impact that urinary tract infection (UTI) has on your life since your injury. Thank you for all of your responses to these quick polls!  We received over 200 responses on each poll. Your feedback is extremely helpful and appreciated.

In the November poll, we had 269 respondents.  In the first two questions, we asked you if you had problems with UTI’s and how often.  Of the 82% of respondents who reported having problems with UTI, 40% said they had 2-3 UTI’s in the last year that required antibiotic treatment.  Almost 20% reported more than 5 UTI’s, 25% reported 4-5, and 10% reported 1 UTI in the last year.

In question 3, we ask you who treats your UTI’s.  The most common response was primary care physician (45%), followed by urologist (30%), and physiatrist (<5%).  Over 10% reported that they have antibiotics at home for self-management.

Question 4 addressed symptoms of UTI.  The most common symptoms of UTI reported were: cloudy urine (80%), strong smelling urine (80%), increased spasticity (40%), incontinence (30%), fever (25%), abdominal pain/burning (25%), and increased neuropathic bladder (25%).

The most common bladder management technique from question 5 was intermittent catheterization (60%), followed by indwelling catheter (20%), urination on own (10%), condom catheter (10%), and diapers (5%).

Our poll group for the November poll was 63% male, 37% female and 64% paraplegia, 36% tetraplegia, with 47% aged 36-55, 13% under 36, and 40% over 55.

Because of the great response we received in November, we decided to ask additional questions regarding UTI management in December.

In the December poll, we had 233 respondents.  In the first question, we ask you whether you take any supplemental products to decrease the risk of UTI. All 233 respondents reported using at least one product to prevent UTI. The most common methods for UTI prevention were: increased fluid intake (50%), cranberry juice (30%), cranberry pills (30%), other (28%), probiotics (26%), and d-mannose (6%).  Some commonly suggested products in the “other” category were methenamine hippurate (Hiprex), vitamin C, and prophylactic antibiotics.

In question 2, we asked you if you are confident in the health care provider who is treating you for UTI’s (strongly agree to strongly disagree).  40% of respondents agreed, 33% strongly agreed, 16% were neutral, 9% disagreed, and 2% strongly disagreed.

Question 3 addressed the impact that UTI’s have on your community participation and/or quality of life.  38% of respondents agreed that UTI’s do impact community participation and/or quality of life, 29% strongly agreed, and 16% were neutral.  Only 17% felt that UTI’s did not impact their community participation and/or quality of life.

In Question 4, the most common places respondents learned about UTI management were during their initial hospitalization (60%) and in an outpatient setting such as a primary care physician (60%).  Online (50%) was also a common place for UTI management advice, followed by books/educational material (33%) and friends/family (24%).

Questions 5 and 6 addressed bladder management techniques. 67% of respondents reported changing their bladder management technique since their injury; however, only 17% reported that their bladder management technique is influenced by their insurance provider.  Of the respondents that do choose bladder management techniques based on insurance, the most common responses were that the insurance companies dictate the number and type of catheters they will provide, and that many people pay out of pocket for larger quantities of catheters and certain types of catheters they need.

Lastly, we asked you whether you felt that your bladder management impacts your community participation and/or quality of life.  40% of respondents strongly agreed that bladder management does impact community participation and/or quality of life, with 30% agreed, 15% neutral, 10% disagree, and 5% strongly disagree.

Our poll group for the December poll was 60% male and 40% female with 41% aged 36-55, 13% under 36, and 46% over 55.  82% of respondents had paralysis due to spinal cord injury, 5% due to MS, 2% due to spina bifida, and 11% to another condition.

Thank you for your interest in our polls. Please contact us at info@sci-health.org if you have any additional feedback to share with us.

Thank you again!

-RRTC Team

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