Effect of Kegel exercises on the prevention of urinary and fecal incontinence in patients with prostate cancer undergoing radiotherapy

Eur J Oncol Nurs. 2021 Apr:51:101913. doi: 10.1016/j.ejon.2021.101913. Epub 2021 Feb 15.


Purpose: This is a nonrandomized experimental study conducted to evaluate the effect of Kegel exercises on the prevention of urinary and fecal incontinence in prostate cancer patients undergoing radiotherapy.

Method: The study was conducted with 30 patients in the intervention group (IG) and 30 patients in the control group (CG). Data were collected using a patient information form, CTCAE, EORTC QLQ-C30, and a follow-up form reporting weekly Kegel exercises. Before radiotherapy, the IG was provided with Kegel exercise training via visual training material; exercises were performed under the supervision of the researcher, and the exercise pamphlet was handed out. During radiotherapy, weekly follow-ups were performed by face-to-face contact or phone calls. No similar application was provided to the CG. CTCAE and EORTC QLQ-C30 were evaluated three times (baseline, 4th and 8th weeks of exercises).

Results: At the end of the 4th week of exercises, 1st-grade urinary incontinence (UI) developed in the IG (10%) and in the CG (13.3%). At the end of the 8th week, 2nd-grade UI (3.3%) developed in the IG and 1st-grade (10%) and 2nd-grade UI (6.7%) developed in the CG. Fecal incontinence developed in neither group. At the end of the intervention, there was a significant improvement in Role, Social function and Global Health Status in the IG compared with the 4th week scores. In addition, less Fatigue, Diarrhea, Anorexia and Constipation scores were found compared with the baseline.

Conclusion: Kegel exercises can be recommended as an approach in the prevention of urinary incontinence and to improve quality of life.

Keywords: Fecal incontinence; Kegel exercises; Prevention; Prostate cancer; Radiotherapy; Urinary incontinence.

Publication types

  • Controlled Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Exercise Therapy*
  • Fecal Incontinence / prevention & control*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / radiotherapy*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Urinary Incontinence / prevention & control*