Objectives: The objective of this study is to compare the effects of mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) versus yoga on urinary urge incontinence (UI) at 8 weeks, 6 months, and 1 year after beginning an 8-week program.
Materials and methods: Participants in this prospective randomized single-masked pilot study were women aged 18 years or older with urge-predominant incontinence, 5 or more UI episodes (UIEs) on a 3-day voiding diary, and no recent anticholinergic use. Women were randomized to MBSR or yoga. The primary outcome was the percent change of UIE.
Results: Of 30 enrollees (15 in MBSR, 15 in yoga), 24 completed at least 5 of 8 sessions (13 in MBSR and 11 in yoga). Twenty and 21 women completed the 6-month and 12-month follow-up visits, respectively. At 8 weeks, 6 months, and 12 months, the median percent change from the baseline in UIE on the intention-to-treat analysis was greater for the MBSR group (-55.6, -71.4, and -66.7, respectively) compared with that for the yoga group (-33.3, -11.8, and -16.7, respectively), with P values ranging from 0.01 to 0.08. On intention-to-treat analysis, the median percent change in the Overactive Bladder Symptom and Quality of Life-Short Form and the Health-Related Quality of Life was greater at each time point for MBSR than for yoga but was statistically significant only at 8 weeks (P = 0.003 and 0.02, respectively). As per protocol analysis, at 8 weeks, 6/13 and 0/11 women in MBSR and yoga, respectively, reported they were very much or much better (P = 0.02), whereas at 1 year, 6/12 and 1/9 women in MBSR and yoga, respectively, did so (P = 0.16).
Discussion: These results support larger scale trials to evaluate MBSR, which seems to be a promising treatment of UI.