Skip to content


  • Oral presentation
  • Open Access

Improvement of self-catheterisation during weekend courses in youth hostels ("Inko Fit and Fun")

Cerebrospinal Fluid Research20096 (Suppl 1) :S21

  • Published:


  • Catheter
  • Urinary Tract
  • Tract Infection
  • Urinary Tract Infection
  • Social Activity


Self-catheterisation is a skill for spina bifida patients, which can be trained in different settings. Our aim was to combine the improvement of catheterisation technique with optimal materials and equipment and learning of the theoretical background (problems of neurogenic bladder) with a weekend away from home and the parents.

Materials and methods

Until now we offered 10 weekend seminars with groups of spina bifida patients (up to 12 patients per weekend, age 9 to 24 years) in suited youth hostels in Cologne and Münster/Germany. The team consisted of an experienced paediatrician, three to five nurses, an educationist, several students and a manager from the ASBH. Times for catheterisation were used for individual advice including the search for the best catheter, training of techniques and abolishing of technical or hygienic failures. Between the catheterisations lessons about neurogenic bladder, urinary tract infections and antimicrobial and anticholinergic drugs informed the patients. Creative playing and social activities (including sailing, bowling, shopping) enhanced the attraction of the courses and improved autonomy.


60 patients have joined the courses and improved their catheterisation technique. Several patients had to change their catheters for more suitable products. 15 Patients joined the seminars up to three times to archive a good performance. For many patients the seminars offered the first opportunity to spend some days away from home without their parents.


The combination of catheterisation training and improvement of autonomy in a non-clinical setting is highly accepted by adolescent spina bifida patients.

Authors’ Affiliations

Children's Hospital, Kliniken der Stadt Köln gGmbH, Amsterdamer Str. 59, 50735 Cologne, Germany
Association for Spina bifida and Hydrocephalus (ASBH), Germany


© Cremer et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. 2009

This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd.