Project Summary

Background: There are nearly 70 million adults in the United States living with urinary incontinence (UI). UI is defined as both stress urinary incontinence (SUI) and overactive bladder (OAB) with urgency.

Few people who live with UI seek medical attention, and if they do, they are most likely to discuss the situation with a primary care physician. Most go undiagnosed or uninformed about their condition and the treatment options available. For many, the time from the onset of symptoms to seeking care is seven years. 

There are a number of reasons for this delay: Many patients do not know where to turn for information or help. Many believe that incontinence is a normal part of the aging process and have been told there is nothing that can be done to help. This project is designed to help those with UI overcome these barriers by providing the information and inspiration needed to understand UI and seek appropriate care.

Proposed Solution: The project team will connect with women aged 45-64 and help them understand that UI is not normal or an inevitable consequence of aging, and that effective management solutions and treatments are available. The project team will explore media options, particularly direct response TV, targeted digital advertising, and other forms of mass communication to increase awareness and prompt audience members to reach out for free, online resources that motivate action. Because traditional TV campaigns can cost in the millions of dollars, an essential goal of this effort is to identify and outline a cost-effective manner to reach the millions of individuals with UI.

Objectives: Objective number one is to determine how best to target women with UI. This includes identifying where and when this audience is looking for health information. Objective number two is to determine how best to raise awareness of information and solutions on UI, taking into account the limited marketing budgets that the team’s organization and similar nonprofit organizations typically have at their disposal.

Activities: The team will create a media plan using a variety of data sources (purchasing behavior, psychographics, etc.). They will define how to best reach this target, with an eye toward the use of TV (including direct response, public service announcements, etc.), as well as a digital advertising plan. The team will create ads designed to educate viewers and raise awareness of treatment options for UI.

Projected Outcomes and Outputs: The project team will create a media plan and creative elements that educate and motivate women to learn more about the management solutions and treatment options for UI.  In addition, the team will support other organizations by creating a media playbook that can be used to increase patient awareness and drive engagement with evidence updates.

Short-term outcomes during the project period include: Creation of media plan targeting women with UI.  Plan will determine cost-effective way to reach and motivate women 45-64 to seek information about UI.

Medium-term outcomes (zero to two years post project period) include: Developing creative executions based on media plan (type of advertising and communications) that motivate action.

Long-term outcomes (three and more years post project period) include: Creation of a media/advertising playbook designed for other small organizations to assess media options for their target audience and develop advertising element to encourage action.

Patient and Stakeholder Engagement Plan: To meet the project objectives, the project team will work in close collaboration with its media and advertising partners. Meetings will be recorded to ensure tracking of efforts with timelines and milestones. Patients will be engaged throughout the process to ensure the effectiveness of all ads.

Project Collaborators: Project partners are best-in class-organizations. Kelly Scott Madison is a media organization with expertise in evaluating marketing targets and creating media plans to reach these women when and where they are seeking health information.  The team will develop creative executions with The Advertising Department, a marketing firm that works with nonprofit healthcare organizations on patient outreach efforts.

Project Information

Steven Gregg, BS, MS, PhD
National Association for Continence

Key Dates

24 months


Project Status
State State The state where the project originates, or where the primary institution or organization is located. View Glossary
Last updated: July 5, 2023