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Improving understanding of the benefit to clients and the economic benefit of continence rehabilitation in the community

A 2020/2021 Summer Studentship research project

Student: Holly Seigne
Supervisors: Lisa Cowap (Centre for Postgraduate Nursing Studies), Virginia Maskill (Community Nursing and Specialty Clinic), Sante Beasant (Physiotherapist)
Sponsor: Nurse Maude Association

Please note: this is a 5 week project


A focus on the role of the Continence Physiotherapist and the benefits of interventions and rehabilitation of treatable continence issues that are potentially ignored due to embarrassment and lack of knowledge by people affected and health professionals. At Nurse Maude we have success with active treatment plans and interventions to prevent ongoing continence issues. For example, urinary incontinence which can frequently occur after childbirth and is largely ignored due to people thinking it is normal, embarrassment, as well as lack of knowledge and education for health professionals. It can be debilitating for people who suffer in this way, resulting in low self-esteem, lack of confidence, depression, fear of going out and holidays.


The aim is to improve our understanding of positive impacts of continence rehabilitation, and the potential savings on incontinence products if people are treated and become continent. We would also like to investigate what the standards are base on best practice in New Zealand and Australia regarding provision and access to continence rehabilitation.

By increasing our knowledge and understanding of the benefits and cost savings, the DHB/MOH may be willing to invest more health dollars in rehabilitation, rather than the more costly and lifelong investment of product use.


Literature review to find and best practice frameworks in New Zealand and Australia, benefits of rehabilitation to clients (outcomes and QoL studies) and any literature about the economic impact.

Student researcher’s component of the study

Undertake a systematic literature review including:

  • Literature searching, critical appraisal, data extraction, analysis and synthesis.
  • Write up the findings in a report for Nurse Maude and present findings at the Summer Studentship Day.
  • Contribute to publishing the findings.

Student prerequisites

Student with good literature search skills/experience. Please note: this is a 5 week project.