Background: Recurrent urinary tract infections are a commonly reported problem in people who use clean intermittent self-catheterisation. Yet there is a lack of knowledge regarding both the impact on people’s lives, the use of prophylactic anti-biotics and perceptions of patients on their use.
Aims: To explore the views and experiences of adults who use clean intermittent self-catheterisation for long-term bladder conditions, with a focus on urinary tract infection experience and prophylactic antibiotic use.
Design: A qualitative descriptive study.
Methods: Twenty-six semi-structured qualitative interviews were conducted with individuals recruited from the ANTIC Trial (Antibiotic treatment for intermittent bladder catheterisation: A randomised controlled trial of once daily prophylaxis). Participants were intermittent self-catheter users aged 18 years or older. Interviews took place between August 2015 and January 2016. Transcript data were analysed thematically.
Findings: Three overarching topics were revealed with corresponding themes: the experiences of intermittent self-catheterisation and urinary tract infections (normalisation, perceived burden); attitudes towards antibiotics for urinary tract infection treatment (nonchalant attitudes, ambivalence towards antibiotic resistance); and experiences of low-dose prophylaxis antibiotics (habitual behaviour and supportive accountability).
Conclusion: The emotional and practical burden of catheter use and urinary tract infection was considerable. Beliefs pertaining to antibiotic use were based on utility, gravity of need and perceived efficacy. These opinions were often influenced by clinician recommendations.