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Objectives: Urinary incontinence (UI) in women is a common health problem which can have a negative impact on quality of life (QOL). This study aimed to determine the prevalence, risk factors and impact of UI on the QOL of Omani women attending primary healthcare centres in Muscat, Oman. Methods: This crosssectional study was conducted at three primary healthcare centres in Muscat from April to August 2018. Women who were 20–50 years of age, not pregnant, not in the six-month postnatal period, not seriously ill and not diagnosed with pelvic organ prolapse were included. A self-administered questionnaire using the International Consultation Incontinence Questionnaire-Short Form was used to evaluate the frequency, severity and impact of UI on QOL. Results: A total of 1,070 women were included in this study (response rate = 92.5%). The mean age was 31.39 ± 7.64 years. UI was reported by 369 (34.5%) women, of whom 182 (49.3%) had stress UI, 97 (26.3%) had urgency UI, 88 (23.8%) had mixed UI and two (0.5%) had other UI. Age, body mass index (BMI), having been married or employed, hypertension, cough, constipation and vaginal or assisted vaginal delivery during the previous birth were significant risk factors for UI. Only 41 (11.1%) out of the 369 women with UI had ever sought medical advice despite the fact that more than two thirds of the women with UI reported negative effects on their QOL. Conclusion: UI is a common medical problem in Oman. Several risk factors, including age and BMI, were identified. Despite its negative consequences for QOL, women were found to be reluctant to seek medical attention for the condition.
Keywords: Urinary Incontinence; Prevalence; Risk Factors; Quality of Life; Oman.