AIHW Board AIHW senior staff Annual report Capability statement Collaboration Customer care charter FOI - freedom of information Indexed list of files Organisation chart Presentations Privacy of data Public consultation Public Interest Disclosure Strategic Directions 2011-2014 Tenders
By category Ageing, disability & carers Families & children Hospitals Housing & homelessness Indigenous Australians Population groups Risk factors, diseases & death Services, workforce & spending
By subject Adoptions Aged care Ageing Alcohol & other drugs Arthritis & musculoskeletal conditions Asthma Australia's health Australia's welfare Burden of disease Cancer Cardiovascular health Child health, development & wellbeing Child protection Children's services Chronic diseases
Chronic kidney disease Chronic respiratory conditions Deaths Dementia Dental & oral health Diabetes Disability Expenditure Eye health Food & nutrition Health indicators Homelessness Hospitals Housing assistance Indigenous Australians Injury Life expectancy
Male health Mental health Mothers & babies National health priority areas Overweight & obesity Palliative care Population health Prisoner health Risk factors Rural health Safety & quality of health care Veterans' health Workforce Youth health & wellbeing Youth justice
In other sections Data Publications Contact AIHW
Publications CatalogueOrdering publicationsForthcoming publicationsOnline reportsRate our publication effectivenessSubscribe to release notices
By subject Adoptions Aged care Ageing Alcohol & other drugs Arthritis & musculoskeletal conditions Asthma Australia's health Australia's welfare Burden of disease Cancer Cardiovascular health Child health, development & wellbeing Child protection Children's services Chronic diseases Chronic kidney disease
Chronic respiratory conditions Corporate publications Data linkage Data standards Deaths Dental & oral health Diabetes Disability Expenditure Eye health Food & nutrition General practice Health indicators Homelessness Hospitals Housing assistance Indigenous Australians Indigenous housing
Injury Life expectancy Male health Mental health services Mothers & babies National health priority areas Overweight & obesity Palliative care Population health Prisoner health Risk factors Rural health Safety & quality of health care Veterans' health Workforce Youth health & wellbeing Youth justice
In other sections Subjects Data Contact AIHW
About AIHW data METeOR—metadata online registry Data by subject Catalogue of holdings of AIHW data Customised data analysis request Data governance framework Data linking Data standards GovHack Privacy of data
By subject Adoptions Aged care Alcohol and other drugs Alcohol data sources Body weight data sources Cancer Children's headline indicators (CHI) National Aged Care Data Clearinghouse Chronic disease indicators Deaths
Disability Expenditure FHBH - Fixing houses for better health General practice (GP) data Hospitals Height and weight data sources Indigenous Australians International collaboration Maternity Information Matrix (MIM)
Medical indemnity Mental health National indicator catalogue National core maternity indicators (NCMI) Perinatal data Risk factors statistics Specialist Homelessness Services (SHS) Tobacco data sources Workforce
In other sections Subjects Publications Contact AIHW
AACR ACFADD AHSAC AIHW Board AIHW Ethics Committee AODTS NMDS WG CKDMAC CMAG CSDWG CVDMAC HEAC HHIMG
IGIHM JJ RIG MHISSC NAGATSIHID NCIAG NCSIMG NDDWG NDIMG NHISSC NIAG NIRAPIMG NMDD
NMDS NMHPSC NOPSAD NPDDC NPHEP NPHIC PCDWG PDWG PHIDG PHIG REDWG Workforce committees YIAG
Education worksheets Infographics What's in the pipeline Subscribe to education notices Other educational links
Worksheets by subject All Latest Ageing Australia's health Australia's welfare Carers
Children & youth Disability Disease Drugs
Health Health prevention Indigenous Australians Injury
In other sections Subjects Data Publications Contact AIHW
Job vacancies How to apply for a position at the AIHW Conditions of employment Benefits of working for the AIHW Temporary employment register Occupational Training Program Contact the People Unit Graduates
AIHW Access magazine Media releases Subscribe to release notices Media FAQ Media contacts
You are here:
Incontinence can have a substantial impact on wellbeing, social and workforce participation, and relationships of its sufferers and those who care for them, according to a report released today by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW).
The report, Incontinence in Australia, shows that 316,500 people-1.5% of the Australian population-experienced severe incontinence in 2008-09, at an estimated cost to the aged and health care systems of $1.6 billion.
'Severe incontinence refers to instances where people always or sometimes need help with controlling bladder or bowel functions and/or using continence aids. Milder forms of incontinence are harder to define and quantify,' said AIHW spokesperson Dr Pamela Kinnear.
'Severe incontinence can profoundly affect the quality of life of those who experience it, as well as their ability to participate in work and social activities,' Dr Kinnear said.
This report updates expenditure estimates and provides greater detail on the impact of incontinence on Australians compared with the bulletin released on the same topic last year.
Residential aged care ($1.3 billion) accounted for the largest share of total incontinence expenditure. This was followed by hospitals ($145.5 million), the Stoma Appliance Scheme ($67.6 million) and the Continence Aids Payments Scheme ($31.6 million).
Incontinence is more common among older people-nearly 25% of people aged 85 and over and 7% of people aged 65 and over experienced severe incontinence, compared with just 0.6% of people aged under 65. Severe incontinence is more common in females than males (2% and 1% respectively).
The labour force participation rate for people aged 15 to 64 with severe incontinence was about 26%, considerably lower than for people without severe incontinence (almost 56%). More than half (about 52%) of people with severe incontinence reported not being able to go out as often as they would like, and about 3% reported that they could not go out at all.
This report provides detailed information on people who care for sufferers of incontinence. There were 72,900 primary carers who helped manage incontinence in 2009. Most carers were female (81%), most spent 40 or more hours per week caring (73%), and more had their sleep interrupted often (42%) than other primary carers (19%).
'Primary carers who assist people with severe incontinence are more likely to report strained relationships with those they care for, to need more respite care, and to report lower labour force participation,' Dr Kinnear said.
'This could be due to the intensive nature of managing severe incontinence, as well as the fact that most people with severe incontinence had significant core activity limitation.'
The AIHW is a major national agency set up by the Australian Government to provide reliable, regular and relevant information and statistics on Australia's health and welfare.
Canberra, 21 June 2013
Further information: Dr Pamela Kinnear, tel. (02) 6249 5096, mob 0421 600 377