Men are More Fearful Than Women; Expert Says Risk of Pain, Trauma and Infection Justifies Patient Concerns

COLUMBUS, Ohio, May 3, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Three out of five men (58 percent) are fearful of urinary (Foley) catheterizations, according to the 2016 Urinary Catheter Fear Survey conducted by ORC International.

The telephone survey of 1,011 adults, commissioned by Columbus, OH-based PercuVision and released during the American Urology Association's (AUA) Annual Meeting (Booth #4943) in San Diego, Calif. May 6-10, is the first national study to gauge Americans' fear of urinary catheterizations. The survey also revealed that one out of every four men (27 percent) is very fearful of the procedure.

"Fear of Foley catheterizations, especially among males, is easily substantiated because of the risk of pain, discomfort, infection and other trauma associated with blind catheter insertion," said Dr. Errol Singh, M.D., a leading urologist and CEO of PercuVision. "The survey sets out not only to gauge American sentiment, but also to bring attention to the impact of difficult urinary catheterizations particularly on male patients in an effort to improve outcomes and reduce healthcare costs."

Younger men are more fearful than their older counterparts. More than two-thirds (68 percent) of men ages 18-34 surveyed are fearful of urinary catheterizations, compared to 43 percent of males 65 and over. The same disparity goes for those men who say they are very afraid of the procedure, with 35 percent of respondents ages 18-34 reporting they are very fearful, compared to only 17 percent of seniors 65 and older.

Fear subsides with age. More than half (54 percent) of males 65 and older say they are not afraid of urinary catheters, compared to 28 percent of men ages 18-34. The same rings true across generational lines. Forty-seven percent of male Baby Boomers report they are not afraid of urinary catheters, which differs significantly from male Gen X's and Millennials, where 29 percent say they are not fearful of the procedure.     

Hospitalizations Due to Urinary Catheters Are Increasing

Hospitalizations due to indwelling urinary catheters (IUCs) are increasing at high rates in the U.S., according to data published by the AUA. The research also found that a majority of these hospitalized patients had urinary tract infections, and the cost for such hospital stays from indwelling urinary catheters grew 700 percent to $1.3 billion from 2001 to 2010.

Scientific studies find that catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTI) are widely recognized as the most common healthcare-associated infection in the acute care hospital setting. Prevention of CAUTI relies on appropriate selection for placement of a urinary catheter, timely removal of IUCs, and proper technique with IUC insertion, according to an AUA white paper

"Nearly 25 percent of patients admitted to U.S. hospitals are catheterized," said Dr. Singh. "Most of these catheterizations continue to be performed blindly, relying strictly upon a clinician's tactile sensation to 'feel' a successful and safe catheter advancement, which can cause iatrogenic injuries, such as trauma and perforation of the urethra, thereby increasing the likelihood of catheter-related infections."

Women and Foley Catheters

Clearly, females are less fearful when it comes to this procedure, with 46 percent of women saying they are not fearful of urinary catheterizations, compared to 37 percent of men. In contrast to men, the generational gap tightens among women who say they are not fearful. Forty-three percent of millennial women report not being fearful of urinary catheterizations, followed by 48 percent of Gen X's and Baby Boomers.

Substantial concern does exist with half (50 percent) of all women surveyed saying they fear the procedure, and 25 percent saying they are very fearful. The generational gap closes even further among those women who say they are very fearful, with 28 percent of Millennials reporting they are very afraid, followed by 27 percent of Gen X's and 25 percent of Baby Boomers.

Men and Women by the Numbers

  • Sixty-one percent of respondents ages 18-34 are fearful of urinary catheterizations, compared to 45 percent of those ages 65 and older.
  • Of total respondents who say they are not fearful, more than half (51 percent) of adults ages 65+ topped the list, compared to 36 percent of men and women ages 18-34.
  • Thirty-two percent of women have no fear at all when it comes to urinary catheters, a stark contrast to 23 percent of men.

About the Survey

PercuVision's 2016 Urinary Catheter Fear Survey was conducted March 24-27, 2016 using ORC International's Telephone CARAVAN® survey of 1,011 Americans living in the U.S., ages 18 and over.

About PercuVision

PercuVision® LLC's mission is to improve patient care and safety by applying micro fiber-optic bundle technology to common global medical procedures. The DirectVision® line of products use patented micro-endoscope technologies to bring vision to blind medical devices. More information on the company can be found by visiting