Stroke Training and Awareness Resources (STARs)


To catheterise or not?

It is not appropriate to catheterise a person who is incontinent without first trying to identify the cause of the incontinence.

Catheters can:

  • Cause infections
  • Cause trauma
  • Decrease the person’s bladder functions

The decision to catheterise should be discussed with the multi disciplinary team and the person if appropriate.

There are occasions when catheterisation is the correct course of action, for example:

  • If all other options have been explored and incontinence remains a problem
  • If the incontinence is affecting a person’s ability to participate in rehabilitation
  • If the person’s skin is becoming damaged as a result of incontinence
  • If the person is in urinary retention

Page last reviewed: 30 Jan 2020