Prevalence and impact of pelvic floor dysfunction in an adult cystic fibrosis population: a questionnaire survey

Int Urogynecol J. 2017 Apr;28(4):591-604. doi: 10.1007/s00192-016-3152-z. Epub 2016 Oct 13.


Introduction and hypothesis: Pelvic floor (PF) dysfunction in patients with cystic fibrosis (CF) is poorly understood due to lack of research. The aim of this study was to examine the prevalence, risk factors and bothersomeness of PF dysfunction and its implications for the clinical management of CF.

Methods: Of 64 adults with CF approached at a tertiary hospital, 60 were surveyed. A clinically meaningful score on the Australian Pelvic Floor Questionnaire (APFQ) is ≥1 in each of the bladder, bowel, sexual function and prolapse sections or a global PF score of ≥3. A frequency Likert scale was used to analyse the impact of PF dysfunction on the ability to perform physiotherapy lung management when well and unwell.

Results: The prevalence of clinically meaningful bladder dysfunction was 39 % in women and 12 % in men, the prevalence of bowel dysfunction was 54 % in women and 44 % in men, and the prevalence of sexual dysfunction was 43 % in women and 65 % in men. APFQ scores were clinically meaningful only for bowel dysfunction in women (median 1.47, IQR 0.59 - 2.28). PF dysfunction constrains lung management in up to 22 % of patients when well and in 37 % of patients when unwell.

Conclusions: PF dysfunction affects the adult CF population, with PF symptoms limiting the ability of up to one in three patients to participate in physiotherapy management.

Keywords: Bladder; Bowel; Cystic fibrosis; Incontinence; Pelvic floor; Sexual dysfunction.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Cystic Fibrosis / complications*
  • Cystic Fibrosis / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Pelvic Floor Disorders / epidemiology
  • Pelvic Floor Disorders / etiology*
  • Pelvic Floor Disorders / psychology
  • Prevalence
  • Queensland / epidemiology
  • Risk Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Young Adult