The effect of home biofeedback training on stress incontinence

Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand. 2004 Oct;83(10):973-7. doi: 10.1111/j.0001-6349.2004.00559.x.


Background: To compare the effectiveness of pelvic floor training (PFT) with the aid of a home biofeedback device to PFT alone for urodynamic stress urinary incontinence (SUI) in women after a 1-year follow-up.

Methods: A randomized study comparing two conservative interventions was conducted in an outpatient clinic of a university hospital. Thirty-five consecutive women were randomized to either the PFT with home biofeedback group or the PFT alone group. The intensive training period lasted 12 weeks. After 1 year, 33 women could be evaluated according to the protocol. At the 1-year visit pelvic floor muscle activity was measured and the need for surgical intervention was evaluated. Logistic multivariate analysis was used to predict response to the PFT.

Results: In the home biofeedback training group 11/16 (68.8%) avoided surgery vs. 10/19 (52.6%) in the PFT alone group. The difference was not statistically significant. In the nonoperated home biofeedback group the increase in pelvic floor muscle activity (p = 0.005 in supine, p = 0.005 in standing) and the decrease in leakage index (p = 0.05) was significant after 12 weeks and pelvic floor activity remained constant. By contrast, in the nonoperated PFT group the increase in pelvic floor muscle activity after 12 weeks predicted a good result for conservative treatment.

Conclusions: This randomized controlled trial suggests that the home biofeedback method in PFT has a good success rate of 68.8%. The change achieved in leakage index after 12 weeks of training predicted an effective outcome for conservative treatment.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Exercise Therapy*
  • Feedback*
  • Female
  • Finland
  • Home Care Services
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Pelvic Floor / physiopathology*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Urinary Incontinence, Stress / physiopathology
  • Urinary Incontinence, Stress / therapy*