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  1. Dowling-Castronovo, Annemarie MA, GNP, RN
  2. Specht, Janet K. PhD, RN, FAAN


Urinary incontinence in older adults is associated with an increased risk of institutionalization, as well as with urinary tract infections and depression. Transient urinary incontinence arises suddenly, lasts less than six months, and results from reversible causes. Many caregivers erroneously consider urinary incontinence to be inevitable in older adults, especially in hospitalized patients. Failure to identify and respond to transient urinary incontinence may lead to established incontinence and to other poor outcomes after hospital discharge. A bladder diary and a mnemonic are two methods nurses can use to assess for transient urinary incontinence and its treatable underlying causes. For a free online video showing nurses using these methods, go to