Optimal bladder management following spinal cord injury: Evidence, practice and a cooperative approach driving future directions in Australia

Denise May Goodwin, James Brock, Sarah Dunlop, Louise Goodes, James Middleton, Andrew Nunn, Breanna Wright, Peter Bragge

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


We examined spinal cord injury (SCI) catheterization practices in Australia to understand practice patterns and consistency with research evidence. A national facilitated discussion forum was held during the annual Australian and New Zealand Spinal Cord Society conference attended by 66 conference delegates. Initially, presentations were given on the latest laboratory research examining bladder changes following SCI; an overview of evidence-based recommendations indicating that intermittent catheterization is best practice; and results of a single-center practice audit that demonstrated substantial delay in transition between acute SCI and intermittent catheterization. The ensuing discussion covered current catheterization practices in both inpatient SCI units and the community and highlighted gaps between evidence and practice, with considerable variation in practice between centers and settings. Reported challenges to implementing best practice included social, economic, and resource factors. A disconnect between hospital and community practice was also identified as an important barrier to long-term uptake of intermittent catheterization following acute SCI. The discussion identified 3 proposed activities: (1) explore current practice and bladder health following SCI in greater depth across SCI units and in local communities through audits and standardized biochemical analysis; (2) determine the behavioral drivers of current practice; and (3) develop a knowledge translation strategy to better align practice with current clinical practice guidelines.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2118-2121
Number of pages4
JournalArchives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2018


  • Knowledge translation
  • Rehabilitation
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Urinary catheters
  • Urinary tract infections

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