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The effect of pelvic floor muscle training and intravaginal electrical stimulation on urinary incontinence in women with incomplete spinal cord injury: an investigator-blinded parallel randomized clinical trial

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INTRODUCTION AND HYPOTHESIS: Urinary incontinence is a prevalent problem in women with spinal cord injury. The aim of this study was to examine the effect of pelvic floor muscle training (PFMT) alone and combined with intravaginal electrical stimulation (IVES) on urinary incontinence in women with incomplete spinal cord injury.

METHODS: In this investigator-blinded randomized clinical trial, we recruited women aged 18-75 with incomplete spinal cord injury and urinary incontinence from a single spinal cord injury clinic in Denmark. Women were randomly assigned to either PFMT or PFMT combined with IVES daily at home for 12 weeks. All women were trained by a physiotherapist using vaginal palpation and electromyography biofeedback. Outcome measures were recorded at baseline (week 0), post-intervention (week 12) and follow-up (week 24) and included change in the total score on the International Consultation on Incontinence Questionnaire urinary incontinence short form (ICIQ-UI-SF) and daily episodes of urinary incontinence.

RESULTS: From 27 April 2015-9 September 2016, we randomly assigned 36 women (17 in the PFMT group and 19 in the PFMT+IVES group); 27 completed the interventions (13 in the PFMT group and 14 in the PFMT+IVES group). The results showed no difference between the groups on ICIQ-UI-SF or episodes of urinary incontinence at 12 and 24 weeks. Only the PFMT group had a significant change from baseline on ICIQ-UI-SF [-2.4 (95% CI -4.3--0.5), p = 0.018] and daily episodes of urinary incontinence [-0.4 (95% CI -0.8--0.1), p = 0.026] at 12 weeks.

CONCLUSIONS: PFMT+IVES is not superior to PFMT alone in reducing urinary incontinence in women with incomplete spinal cord injury.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Urogynecology Journal
Volume29
Issue number11
Pages (from-to)1597-1606
Number of pages10
ISSN0937-3462
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2018

ID: 56113782