Physiotherapy for female stress urinary incontinence: individual therapy at the outpatient clinic versus home-based pelvic floor training: a 5-year follow-up study.Neurourol Urodyn. 2004; 23(7):643-8.NU
To compare the long-term effects of individual physiotherapy at an outpatient clinic, including electrical stimulation (ES), active pelvic floor muscle exercises (PFMEs), and training with a vaginal ball (VB), with home-based active PFMEs and training with a VB, in cases of female stress urinary incontinence (SUI).
MATERIALS AND METHOD
Thirty-three women with SUI (outpatient clinic group [Group I, n = 16] and home group [Group II, n = 17]) participated in the 5-year follow-up study. Both groups had an active PFME program and they used a VB during daily activities for intensive pelvic floor muscle (PFM) training. Group I was also treated at the outpatient clinic with maximal interferential ES, using frequencies varying from 10 to 50 Hz, and individually instructed exercises with biofeedback were carried out at the same time, once a week, an average of nine times in the first year. After baseline examinations, both groups visited the outpatient clinic at 4 months, 12 months, and at 5 years.
At 12 months, there were no statistically significant differences between the study groups in any of the outcome variables, but within the groups both the subjective and objective results were significantly better in comparison with the initial values. After 12 months, two (3%) patients in Group I continued physiotherapy and seven (41%) patients in Group II needed physiotherapy because of an unsatisfactory outcome. At 5 years, according to the urinary incontinence severity score (UISS) questionnaire, subjective discomfort had decreased in both groups (P < 0.01) and 21 of the 33 women (64%) perceived a subjective cure or improvement in their condition. The mean objective urine leakage verified by the pad test decreased from 23.0 to 1.0 g in Group I and from 13.0 to 1.0 g in Group II (P < 0.001 for both groups). The strength of PFMs tested in a standing position increased by 26% in Group I and by 19% in Group II (P values 0.001 and 0.084, respectively), and in a lying position by 28% in Group I and by 32% in Group II (P values 0.001 and 0.008, respectively).
Home-based PFMEs and training with a VB proved to be equally effective as once-a-week supervised therapy, and the 5-year follow-up results demonstrated a successful response in the treatment of female SUI.