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Healthcare Associated Infections

Promotion of Continence and the Assessment of Bladder Dysfunction in Adults

Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are among the most commonly encountered infections in primary care, care homes and hospitals.

These resources are part of the intermediate layer of the Scottish Infection Prevention and Control Education Pathway.  Further information about the pathway is available on the pathway webpage.


UTIs are often as a result of insertion of an indwelling urethral catheter which is required to drain the bladder.  A key intervention to minimise the risk of CAUTI is to avoid inserting an indwelling urethral catheter.

Sometimes indwelling urethral catheters are used as an alternative method to promote continence. Prior to the insertion of an urinary catheter, a full written assessment with involvement of the patient/client and carers must be carried out. This includes identifying the patient’s/client’s underlying causes of incontinence and alternative methods or treatment options that can be used to avoid urinary catheterisation.  

The module will provide staff working in health and social care with the necessary knowledge in the causes of incontinence and the treatment options available, so practitioners can assist patient’s/ client’s to maintain continence and where possible, avoid the insertion of an indwelling urethral catheter.

Key content

  • Anatomy and physiology
  • Maintaining continence
  • Types and causes of incontinence
  • Assessment of incontinence
  • Treatment and Management of Bladder Symptoms

Target audience

All registered nurses, healthcare support worker and care staff working in health and social care

Registration and Access

This module is provided to health and social care staff in Scotland by learnPro.  Further information about registration and access can be found at our learnPro information page.

The module is currently under review and is no available on Turas Learn.


Resource launch June 2015. Last reviewed January 2019.