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Can Pelvic Floor Training Be Learned Through Internet or Postal Training?

Can patients benefit from a non-face-to-face treatment program for stress urinary incontinence? A recent study addressing this question was published in the British Journal of Urology International. This randomized, controlled trial utilized online recruitment of 250 community-dwelling women ages 18-70 years. Criteria was stress urinary incontinence (SUI) at least 1x/week, diagnosis based on self-assessment questionnaires, 2 days of bladder diaries, as well as a telephone interview with a urotherapist. The Outcomes tools included the International Consultation on Incontinence Questionnaire Short Form (ISIC-UI SF), the Lower Urinary Tract Symptoms Quality of Life (ICIQ-LUTSqol), the Patient Global Impression of Improvement, health-specific quality of life (EQ-VAS), use if incontinence aids, and satisfaction with treatment.

The participants were randomized into 2 pelvic floor muscle training groups: an “internet-based” group (n=124) and a group who were sent information in the mail (n=126). The internet-based program contained information about pelvic muscle contractions (8 escalating levels of training), behavioral training related to lifestyle changes. The internet group received email support from the urotherapist, and the postal group did not. Pelvic floor muscle training was instructed at at least 8 contractions 3 times/day. After the 3 month training period, the internet-based treatment group was advised to continue pelvic floor muscle training 2-3 times/week, whereas the mail training group were not given any advice about continued training frequency. Follow-up data was collected at 4 months post-intervention, at 1 year and 2 years. At 2 years follow-up, 38% of the participants were lost from the study.

Within both groups, the authors report that the International Consultation on Incontinence Questionnaire Short Form (ISIC-UI SF) and the Lower Urinary Tract Symptoms Quality of Life (ICIQ-LUTSqol) showed “highly significant improvements” after 1 and 2 years compared to baseline data. Much of the improvement occurred within the first 4 months of the study “…and then persisted throughout the follow-up period.” When comparing the internet group to the mail-only group, the perception of improvement following treatment was higher. Approximately 2/3 of the women in both groups reported satisfaction with the treatment even at the 2 year follow-up. The authors conclude that the internet or mail-based exercise programs may “…have the potential to increase access to care and the quality of care given to women with SUI [stress urinary incontinence] in a sustainable way.” Additionally, not all patients will improve significantly unless they have one-on-one intervention, leaving plenty of patients who do need our direct care.

If you would like to learn more about exercise prescription for urinary incontinence, consider attending one of Herman & Wallace's many continuing education courses.

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Boundaries, Self-Care, and Meditation - Remote Course

May 22, 2020 - May 31, 2020
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Oncology of the Pelvic Floor Level 1 - Remote Course

May 26, 2020 - Jun 4, 2020
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Pelvic Floor Level 1 Part 1 - Remote Course (SOLD OUT)

May 28, 2020 - May 29, 2020
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Pelvic Floor Level 1 - Chicago, IL (RESCHEDULED)

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Pelvic Floor Level 2A - Syracuse, NY (RESCHEDULED)

May 29, 2020 - May 31, 2020
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Gender Diversity and Pelvic Health - Livingston, NJ (RESCHEDULED)

May 29, 2020 - May 31, 2020
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Pelvic Floor Level 2B - Maywood, IL (Rescheduled)

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May 30, 2020 - May 31, 2020
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May 30, 2020 - May 31, 2020
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Pilates for the Pelvic Floor - Valencia, CA (Rescheduled)

May 30, 2020 - May 31, 2020
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Building Resilience Through Nourishment

Jun 2, 2020
Location: Short Form Remote Course

Pelvic Floor Series Capstone - Salt Lake City, UT (SOLD OUT)

Jun 5, 2020 - Jun 7, 2020
Location: Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions

Pelvic Floor Capstone - Remote Course

Jun 5, 2020 - Jun 7, 2020
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Jun 5, 2020 - Jun 6, 2020
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Pediatric Incontinence - Grand Rapids, MI (RESCHEDULED)

Jun 5, 2020 - Jun 7, 2020
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Jun 5, 2020 - Jun 7, 2020
Location: Centerpoint Medical Center

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Jun 5, 2020 - Jun 7, 2020
Location: Emory Healthcare

Pelvic Floor Level 1 - Washington, DC (Rescheduled)

Jun 5, 2020 - Jun 7, 2020
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Jun 5, 2020 - Jun 7, 2020
Location: Aultman Hospital

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Jun 6, 2020 - Jun 7, 2020
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Jun 6, 2020 - Jun 7, 2020
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Trauma Informed Care - Remote Course

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Jun 7, 2020 - Jun 9, 2020
Location: Andrews University

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Jun 7, 2020 - Jun 9, 2020
Location: Touro College: Bayshore

Pelvic Floor Level 1 Part 1 - Remote Course

Jun 11, 2020 - Jun 12, 2020
Location: Short Form Remote Course