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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/M000109/1
Title: EPSRC-NIHR HTC Partnership Award: IMPRESS Network, Incontinence Management and Prevention through Engineering and Sciences
Principal Investigator: Culmer, Professor PR
Other Investigators:
Day, Dr R
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Devices for Dignity NIHR Enteric HTC
Department: Mechanical Engineering
Organisation: University of Leeds
Scheme: Network
Starts: 30 June 2014 Ends: 01 December 2017 Value (£): 130,809
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Med.Instrument.Device& Equip.
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
26 Feb 2014 EPSRC NIHR HTC Partnership Awards Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
Faecal Incontinence (FI) is defined as the inability to fully control the passage of faeces through the anus. This may arise due to a weakened anal sphincter muscle (typically following child birth), problems with nerve supply (e.g. stroke, multiple sclerosis), or in association with other gastrointestinal conditions (e.g. irritable bowel syndrome). It is a common and distressing condition that causes shame, embarrassment, depression, social isolation, secrecy, poor self-esteem, and sexual avoidance. As a result, more than 54% of patients with FI have not discussed their symptoms with a physician , and only one-quarter of patients with FI are referred by their GP for specialist treatment . Its exact prevalence is difficult to determine but best estimates suggest that in the adult population it is around 10%, and that 0.5% - 1% below 65 years and 3% - 8% over 65 years experience regular faecal incontinence. Urinary Incontinence (UI) is defined as involuntary leakage of urine, UI presents a major burden on NHS resources. It is a common and distressing condition, which impacts of quality of life. The main forms of UI are stress incontinence (SUI), which is leakage with physical exertion, and urge incontinence (UUI), which is leakage with a strong desire to void. Mixed urinary incontinence is a combination of SUI and UUI. The prevalence of UI increases with age and is higher in institutionalised adults, who tend to be older and suffer associated co-morbidity. It is more often a problem for females, with prevalence rates of UI ranging from 4.5% to 53% in women, as compared to 1.5% and 24% in men. Although previously considered in isolation, it is increasingly recognised that many forms of FI and UI share a common underlying pathophysiology and frequently co-exist with pelvic organ prolapse

Incontinence places a massive burden on the NHS and impacts significantly on quality of life for thousands of patients in the UK. Whilst many areas of medical engineering share a growth in the engagement of engineers and scientists to push forward the exploitation of emerging technologies it is arguably the case that the nature of this disease prevents engineering and science research leaders seeing the potential for some rich research challenges. This proposed network will provide a step change in the increased engagement of leading UK technologists (from academia and industry) to provide a substantial impact to incontinence sufferers.
Key Findings
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Potential use in non-academic contexts
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Date Materialised
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Organisation Website: http://www.leeds.ac.uk