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Supporting women with toileting in palliative care: the female urinal

  • Research type

    Research Study

  • Full title

    Supporting women with toileting in palliative care: is the female urinal an acceptable, safe and effective alternative product for bladder management?



  • Contact name

    Mandy Fader

  • Contact email

  • Sponsor organisation

    University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust, Research and Development

  • Duration of Study in the UK

    1 years, 0 months, 0 days

  • Research summary

    Toileting is a significant issue for patients approaching the end of life. Little evidence exists to guide how toileting should be managed in palliative settings. Female urinals are designed to allow women to empty their bladders while not on the toilet, and may be a useful alternative to other forms of bladder management such as conventional bedpans or indwelling urinary catheterisation. This project will investigate the use of a female urinal system in a palliative inpatient setting, to examine whether a female urinal (a) presents an alternative to other options such as catheterisation or bedpans and (b) promotes an acceptable level of dignity and comfort in toileting.
    The project will test a female urinal system known as the ‘VernaFem’ (made by Vernacare). The ‘VernaFem’ has been trialled with some success in acute settings. Phase I will involve testing of the product with healthy volunteers recruited through the University of Southampton. The volunteers will test the female urinal, and evaluate their experience of comfort, ease of use, and spillage of urine in a short interview. Volunteers will also be asked to evaluate their experience of using a conventional bedpan, allowing comparisons in such areas as ease of use and discomfort issues. Phase II will involve the testing of the female urinal in palliative patients on an oncology ward in Southampton General Hospital. After consent is gained, participants will be shown how to use the product and assisted if necessary. The patients, as well as the clinical staff assisting them, will then be asked for feedback on factors including comfort, ease of use, feelings about dignity and privacy, spillage of urine and positioning. The project will investigate female urinals as a solution to toileting challenges in palliative care that is embedded in the reality of practice.

  • REC name

    South Central - Hampshire B Research Ethics Committee

  • REC reference


  • Date of REC Opinion

    2 Feb 2015

  • REC opinion

    Favourable Opinion

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