Wed 29, May 2019 , Bridge Magazine
In January this year, Dr Kate Gray opened the first Mobile Incontinence and Urodynamics Assessment Clinic, run by a urologist, in Rockhampton, Queensland
How did the idea of the mobile clinic come about?
We are all aware urinary incontinence remains a taboo topic for many women and men, despite being a common problem experienced at all ages. Encouraging people to attend for assessment and management of their incontinence remains challenging perhaps due to embarrassment or feeling like nothing can be done. For those living outside South East Queensland, a further barrier to care can be due to their geographical position. This limits accessibility and increases time taken away from work, families and other commitments to undergo assessments and suggested managements for improved continence control. One of our main aims in setting up the Incontinence Clinic and Mobile Urodynamic Service was to take away this barrier so that an increased number of people have access to contemporary care with less time commitments for travel.
What are the benefits to women and men living remotely?
We hope our new clinic has helped raise awareness in the community of both the commonality of incontinence and importance of seeking help rather than continuing in silence. Being a mobile service, we aim to improve access for patients with incontinence seeking quality care. Several women attending have commented that they are pleased to have been able to attend during school hours, without the need for afterschool care for their children. Similarly, elderly patients are relieved to no longer need to travel to Brisbane, as may have been the case previously.
How does it work?
On the day of the appointment, patients talk through their incontinence and medical history, discuss any previous strategies and therapies tried, before moving onto examination and urodynamics testing. Once this is completed, we talk about the cause of the incontinence and what management options that are available tailored to the individual patient and circumstances. Our clinic incorporates the use of mobile urodynamic equipment, which can be simply brought along in carry-on luggage. A urodynamic assessment is a scientific way to assess how the bladder is functioning and can provide an accurate diagnosis of the cause of the leakage.
How does someone arrange access to this service?
A great way for those with incontinence to seek help initially is an appointment with their GP, pelvic floor physio or continence nurse. Often some simple strategies and adjustments can lead to big improvements. If positive changes are not achieved, then referral by a GP to the Mobile Incontinence Clinic could be considered as the next step.
Dr Gray has a MBBS from University of Qld; FRACS (Urol), did her fellowship training at the Churchill Hospital Oxford UK as well as Christchurch Hospital and Burwood Spinal Unit NZ. She is a Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons and her specialty areas are renal laparoscopy (benign and malignant diseases), renal stones, male and female voiding dysfunction, bladder cancer and incontinence. Dr Gray was the first urologist in Australia to offer in-rooms bladder Botox under local anaesthetic.