Analysis of Racial and Ethnic Disparities as Possible Risk Factors for Development of Incontinence by Nursing Home Residents

Donna Z. Bliss, Olga V. Gurvich, Kay Savik, Lynn E. Eberly, Susan Harms, Jean F. Wyman, Christine Mueller, Judith Garrard, Beth Virnig

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3 Scopus citations


Incontinence is a common health problem among nursing home (NH) residents. Differences between black and white NH residents in incontinence prevalence have been reported. Although reducing health disparities is a principal objective of the national health care agenda, little is known about disparities in incidence of new incontinence in NHs. The purpose of this study was to assess whether there were racial/ethnic disparities in the time to development of incontinence in adults over age 65 who had been continent on NH admission. If no racial or ethnic disparities in time to incontinence were found, other predictors of time to incontinence would be explored. Three national databases were sources of data on 42,693 adults over 65 admitted to 446 for-profit NHs in a national chain. Multi-level predictors of time to any type of incontinence were analyzed, using Cox proportional hazards regression for white Non-Hispanic NH admissions and the Peters-Belson method for minority NH admissions: American Indians/Alaskan Natives, Asians/Pacific Islanders, Black non-Hispanics, and Hispanics. No racial/ethnic disparities in time to incontinence were found. Approximately 30% of all racial/ethnic groups had developed incontinence by 6 months. Those who developed incontinence sooner were older and had greater deficits in activities of daily living (ADL) and cognition. Results were consistent with past evidence and suggest that interventions to maintain continence from the time of admission should be applied across racial/ethnic groups.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)449-461
Number of pages13
JournalResearch in Nursing and Health
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.


  • Disparities
  • Epidemiology
  • Incidence
  • Incontinence
  • Nursing home
  • Proportional hazards
  • Race and ethnicity


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