Cost-effectiveness of a nurse-led intervention to optimise implementation of guideline-concordant continence care: Study protocol of the COCON study

Aaltje P.D. Jansen, Maaike E. Muntinga, Judith E. Bosmans, Bary Berghmans, Janny Dekker, Jacqueline Hugtenburgh, Giel Nijpels, Paul van Houten, Miranda G.H. Laurant, Huub C.H. van der Vaart

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Background: Guidelines on urinary incontinence recommend that absorbent products are only used as a coping strategy pending definitive treatment, as an adjunct to ongoing therapy, or for long-term management after all treatment options have been explored. However, these criteria are rarely met and a significant share of long-term product users could still benefit from therapeutic interventions recommended in guidelines for urinary incontinence. Better implementation of these guidelines can potentially result in both health benefits for women and long-term cost savings for society. The aim of the COCON study is to evaluate the (cost-)effectiveness of a nurse-led intervention to optimise implementation of guideline-concordant continence care in comparison with usual care for urinary incontinent women aged 55 years and over who use absorbent products. Methods: This randomised clinical trial compares usual care with a nurse-led intervention to optimise implementation of guideline-concordant continence care. Women (anticipated N = 160) are recruited in 12 community pharmacies in three Dutch regions, and are eligible for trial entry when they are 55 years and over, community-dwelling and long-term users of absorbent products (≥4 months) reimbursed by health insurance. Measurements are administered at baseline, 3, 6 and 12 months. Primary outcome is severity of urinary incontinence (ICIQ-UI SF); other outcomes include health related quality of life (EQ-5D-5 L), use of absorbent products (in accordance with the recommended criteria in guidelines) (yes/no), and societal costs. Mixed model analysis will be performed to compare (the course) of outcomes between groups. The economic evaluation will be performed from a societal perspective. The implementation process is investigated using the Tailored Implementation for Chronic Diseases (TICD) framework. Discussion: Results will add to current knowledge of the (cost-)effectiveness of nurse-led primary healthcare to improve guideline-concordant care for older women with urinary incontinence. In addition, the results will provide more insight into care needs and health service utilization of this group of women, as well as into use of absorbent products in accordance with the recommended criteria in guidelines. Finally, results will increase our understanding of the intervention's uptake and could provide useful insights for future dissemination and sustenance. Trial registration: Dutch Trial Register NTR4396, registered 13-January-2014.

Original languageEnglish
Article number10
Pages (from-to)10
JournalBMC Nursing
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 22 Feb 2017


  • Absorbent products
  • Community continence care
  • Cost-effectiveness
  • Implementation
  • Journal Article
  • Nursing
  • Primary care
  • Randomised controlled trial
  • Supplementation
  • Urinary incontinence

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