Younger woman standing with arms around older seated woman

Impact of indwelling urinary catheters in Australian residential aged care

Although IDCs are potentially beneficial, long-term use is associated with significant morbidity and mortality.

Infographic on indwelling catheters in aged care residents

Increasing aged care providers’ abilities to provide evidence-based catheter care could improve residents’ quality of life.

What is the IDC-IMPROVE project?

By developing a catheter care bundle that is responsive to the contextual conditions of long-term IDC use in residential aged care homes, the project team are working towards:

  • Improving the identification and management of problems relating to catheter use
  • Improving the quality of life of residents with a long-term indwelling catheter
  • Reducing avoidable transfers to hospital emergency departments.

It is a two-staged mixed methods study characterised by:

  1. Validation stage to produce a targeted evidence based, fit-for-purpose catheter care bundle, and an implementation strategy
  2. A multicentre facility level cluster randomised control feasibility trial

What is the IDC-Catheter Care Bundle?

  • A structured way to improve catheter care processes and resident outcomes
  • A clear list of evidence-based practices
  • A combination of resources, advice and support.

IDC-IMPROVE catheter care bundle


NARI, the Continence Foundation of Australia, the University of Melbourne, the University of South Australia, Flinders University, the University of Alberta (Canada), Central Queensland University, the Australian Prostate Centre, Austin Health, Regis Aged Care, Darling Downs Health Service, the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation, the Continence Nurses Society Australia, and the Australian and New Zealand Urological Nurses Society. 

Logos of IDC-Improve collaborating organisations


The project is funded by the Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) – Clinician Researchers Initiative – 2022 Clinician Researchers: Nurses, Midwives and Allied Health Grant Opportunity (MRFF2023825).


If you would like to know more about IDC-IMPROVE or have any queries, please email [email protected]

  1. Department of Health and Aged Care. 2022-23 Report on the Operation of the Aged Care Act 1997. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. Accessed 25 March, 2024.
  2. Ostaszkiewicz, J. Batchelor, F. Gilbert, A. Cecil, J. Vaughan, M. Tay, C. Hall, I. Dow, B. (2024). A consultation to inform a targeted response to catheter-associated care and complications in Victorian residential aged care homes. National Ageing Research Institute (NARI), March 2024.
  3. Kunin CM, et al. The association between the use of urinary catheters and morbidity and mortality among elderly patients in nursing homes. Am J Epidemiol 1992.