Aim Review of intervention studies of associated factors with incontinence as the primary outcome in older people in care homes to identify and inform practice and future research. Background Incontinence is highly prevalent among care home populations. Previous reviews of descriptive and intervention studies have used urinary incontinence as the primary outcome. Design Systematic review and narrative summary. Data sources Electronic searches of English empirical studies undertaken using MEDLINE and CINAHL from January 1966–May 2010. All relevant empirical designs were selected from MEDLINE highly sensitive search strings from the Cochrane Incontinence Review Group, modified to exclude surgical and pharmacological studies Review methods The PRISMA statement was followed and established methods for systematic review to produce a narrative summary. Results Nine studies identified relating to associated factors with the management of incontinence in care homes. Factors included economic data, skin care, exercise studies, staff quality and prompted voiding adherence and the promotion of continence by the management of dehydration and incontinence. Conclusion Managing incontinence and promoting continence in care homes is complex, requiring time and cost-efficient management procedures to contain the problem and deliver quality, achievable care. When developing and designing systems of care in care homes, it is important to also recognize the impact of associated factors. As with any healthcare intervention programme, resources are required to implement the protocols. Economic evaluation studies are limited, with further studies warranted alongside preventative studies to maintain long-term continence in these populations.