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


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.

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Correspondence to Reinhold Cremer.

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Open Access This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Cremer, R., Bass, G., Gebhard, B. et al. Improvement of self-catheterisation during weekend courses in youth hostels ("Inko Fit and Fun"). Fluids Barriers CNS 6 (Suppl 1), S21 (2009).

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