Choosing suitable body-worn absorbent products is not an easy endeavor for stroke carers because the information available on websites of different brands is overwhelming. Most of the time, it becomes a trial and error business and you are more likely to spend unnecessarily.
Although adult body-worn absorbent product use has become widespread around the world, surprisingly, according to the experts, very little research exists. This became evident when an expert group carried out an extensive review of the published research in 2018. You can read this through this link. This is a very comprehensive report that also includes expert consensus statements. More recently, based on the above report, in March 2020, The same group – The WOCN (Wound, Ostomy, and Continence Nurses Society) – published a very useful decision support algorithm for body-worn absorbent products.
A need for a simpler guide
Based on our literature review and the wide range of information available specific to different brands, we developed a simpler buying guide for body-worn absorbent products. We believe this will assist in your consultation with the healthcare professional while making your decision.
In addition to the factors considered in the above guide, experts suggest considering the following also in your decision-making process. These include,
- bed-ridden, wheelchair-bound or walking
- Presence of skin damage, changes
- Need for assistance
- The level of cognitive ability
- Personal preference
The above buying guide is the first one. You can also contribute to enriching the above guide by adding your tips through your comments to this post. Your inputs will certainly help improve not only this guide but the other guides also, we hope to introduce later.
A brief explanation of the buying guide steps
Step 1: Measure the urine leakage day and night separately
The guestimate is always inaccurate and difficult. The simplest but most accurate method is to measure for the daytime and nighttime separately. Another post describes the method.
Step 2: Choose the product depending on the leakage amount
If the leak for the duration you measured is less than 100ml, choose a product that is designed for a light degree of urinary incontinence. If the leak is more than 100ml, choose either a pull-up or a diaper with tabs or both. A description to the product range appears in another post.
Step 3: Measure the waist size
The product manufacturers recommend obtaining the measurement at the belly button level. The waist sizes range from 17” to 80”. You need to consult the websites of different manufacturers because there is no uniform standards at the moment. It is confusing.
Step 4: Check the maximum absorption of capacity of the product and the price range you can afford
The maximum absorption capacity also varies among different manufacturers from 600ml to 1300ml.
Step 5: Check the price range
The price also varies from manufacturer to manufacturer. Some do not mention the exact prize in their own websites. You need to check the prize from your vender.
For your easy reference, this post includes the following summary table.
|Product type||Leaked amount||Waist size range||Maximum absorption capacity||Product size||Prize range|
|Pull up||100-600ml||17-28”||600ml||X-small, small||$0.58 – 1.08|
|Pull up||600-1000ml||20-80”||1000ml||medium, large, XL, 2XL||$0.58 – 1.08|
|diaper with tabs||300-1300ml||18-64”||1300ml||X-small, small, large, X-large||$0.61 -1.68|
Step 6: Buy one pack first and try
It is always advisable to buy one pack and try because personal preferences also matter.