Using intermittent self-catheters: experiences of people with neurological damage to their spinal cord.
Kelly L., Spencer S., Barrett G.
PURPOSE: The aim of this study was to investigate the experiences of using intermittent self-catheters (ISCs) among people with neurological damage to their spinal cord. This study sought to highlight the impact of using specific ISCs on users' daily lives and to identify key features of product design which affected ease of use. METHODS: In-depth interviews were conducted with 16 ISC users to elicit their views and experiences of ISC use. Interviewees were purposively sampled, primarily from the spinal cord injury population, via a variety of sources. Transcripts were analysed using the Framework method. RESULTS: Key product characteristics which influenced ease of use both inside and outside the home were identified (e.g. gauge, rigidity and packaging); preferences were highly personal. ISC users were conscious of health consumer issues such as the financial costs, the environmental costs and the trustworthiness of the manufacturer. Wider self-catheterisation issues such as anxiety, self-image and control over bladder management were also important to interviewees. CONCLUSIONS: This study provides new information on key issues associated with experiences of ISC use by people living in a community setting who have neurological damage to their spinal cord.