The effects of pelvic floor muscle training on stress and mixed urinary incontinence and quality of life

J Wound Ostomy Continence Nurs. 2009 Jul-Aug;36(4):429-35. doi: 10.1097/WON.0b013e3181aaf539.


Objective: To evaluate the effects of pelvic floor muscle (PFM) training on urinary incontinence (UI) and quality of life in women diagnosed with stress or mixed UI.

Design: We completed a parallel group, randomized clinical trial evaluating the effectiveness of PFM training in women with stress or mixed UI.

Settings and participants: We recruited consecutive cases of women with stress or mixed UI from outpatient urology clinics attached to a county hospital and a university hospital in Izmir, Turkey.

Methods: After baseline evaluation, 41 women were randomly assigned to either the PFM training group or the control group. Muscle training included 3 sets of daily fast and slow contractions in lying, sitting, and standing positions. Participants were also taught the knack. The intervention period was 8 weeks, and the women in the exercise group telephoned once a week to provide motivation. The untreated control group had no contact during the intervention period. Outcome measures were Incontinence Quality of Life (I-QOL) Questionnaire, episodes of leakage in 3-day bladder diary, 1-hour pad test, and PFM strength.

Results: Thirty-four women completed the trial. The mean age of women was 41.82 +/- 8.65 years in the exercise group and 44.64 +/- 6.90 years in the control group. The 2 groups were statistically similar regarding key demographic and clinical characteristics. After 8 weeks, significant differences in the 1-hour pad test, episodes of leakage in 3-day bladder diary, PFM strength, and I-QOL scores (P = .01) were noted when participants in the PFM training group were compared to control group participants.

Conclusion: An 8-week trial of PFM training significantly increased PFM strength, improved quality of life, and reduced the frequency of UI episodes.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Exercise
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Motivation
  • Muscle Contraction
  • Patient Education as Topic*
  • Patient Selection
  • Pelvic Floor / physiopathology
  • Professional-Patient Relations
  • Quality of Life*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Urinary Incontinence / psychology
  • Urinary Incontinence / rehabilitation*
  • Urinary Incontinence, Stress / psychology
  • Urinary Incontinence, Stress / rehabilitation*