To evaluate the long-term effects of two non-face-to-face treatment programmes for stress urinary incontinence (SUI) based on pelvic floor muscle training (PFMT).
The present study was a randomized controlled trial with online recruitment of 250 community-dwelling women aged 18-70 years with SUI = one time/week. Diagnosis was based on validated self-assessed questionnaires, 2-day bladder diary and telephone interview with a urotherapist. Consecutive computer-generated block randomization was carried out with allocation by an independent administrator to 3 months of treatment with either an internet-based treatment programme (n = 124) or a programme sent by post (n = 126). Both interventions focused mainly on PFMT. The internet group received continuous e-mail support from a urotherapist, whereas the postal group trained on their own. Follow-up was performed after 1 and 2 years via self-assessed postal questionnaires. The primary outcomes were symptom severity (International Consultation on Incontinence Questionnaire Short Form [ICIQ-UI SF]) and condition-specific quality of life (ICIQ-Lower Urinary Tract Symptoms Quality of Life [ICIQ-LUTSqol]). Secondary outcomes were the Patient Global Impression of Improvement, health-specific quality of life (EQ-visual analogue scale [EQ-VAS]), use of incontinence aids, and satisfaction with treatment. There was no face-to-face contact with the participants at any time. Analysis was based on intention-to-treat.
We lost 32.4% (81/250) of participants to follow-up after 1 year and 38.0% (95/250) after 2 years. With both interventions, we observed highly significant (P 0.8) for symptoms and condition-specific quality of life (QoL) after 1 and 2 years, respectively. No significant differences were found between the groups. The mean (sd) changes in symptom score were 3.7 (3.3) for the internet group and 3.2 (3.4) for the postal group (P = 0.47) after 1 year, and 3.6 (3.5) for the internet group and 3.4 (3.3) for the postal group (P = 0.79) after 2 years. The mean changes (sd) in condition-specific QoL were 5.5 (6.5) for the internet group and 4.7 the for postal group (6.5) (P = 0.55) after 1 year, and 6.4 (6.0) for the internet group and 4.8 (7.6) for the postal group (P = 0.28) after 2 years. The proportions of participants perceiving they were much or very much improved were similar in both intervention groups after 1 year (internet, 31.9% [28/88]; postal, 33.8% [27/80], P = 0.82), but after 2 years significantly more participants in the internet group reported this degree of improvement (39.2% [29/74] vs 23.8% [19/80], P = 0.03). Health-specific QoL improved significantly in the internet group after 2 years (mean change in EQ-VAS, 3.8 [11.4], P = 0.005). We found no other significant improvements in this measure. At 1 year after treatment, 69.8% (60/86) of participants in the internet group and 60.5% (46/76) of participants in the postal group reported that they were still satisfied with the treatment result. After 2 years, the proportions were 64.9% (48/74) and 58.2% (46/79), respectively.
Non-face-to-face treatment of SUI with PFMT provides significant and clinically relevant improvements in symptoms and condition-specific QoL at 1 and 2 years after treatment.
Stress urinary incontinence is common among women. First-line treatment includes pelvic floor muscle training (PFMT) and lifestyle advice, which can be provided via a mobile app. The efficacy of app-based treatment has been demonstrated in a randomized controlled trial (RCT). In this study, we aimed to analyze factors associated with successful treatment.
Secondary analysis of data from the RCT. At baseline and 3-month follow-up, participants (n?=?61) answered questions about symptoms, quality of life, background, and PFMT. Success was defined as rating the condition as much or very much better according to the validated Patient Global Impression of Improvement questionnaire. Factors possibly associated with success were analyzed with univariate logistic regression; if p?
CommentIn: Int Urogynecol J. 2018 Apr;29(4):613 PMID 29508042
CommentIn: Int Urogynecol J. 2018 Jun;29(6):925 PMID 29594320
Stress urinary incontinence is common and sometimes embarrassing. New, simple, and easily accessible treatments are needed. We telephone interviewed 21 women who participated in a randomized controlled study comparing two treatment programs based on instructions for pelvic floor muscle training. One program was Internet-based and included email support by a urotherapist; the other was sent by post. There was no face-to-face contact in either program. Our main aim was to explore the women's experiences of the Internet-based treatment. Grounded theory analysis revealed three categories: hidden but present, at a distance but close, and by myself but not alone. These were incorporated in a core category: acknowledged but not exposed. The leakage was often a well-hidden secret, but the study treatments lowered the barrier for seeking care. In the Internet group, a supportive patient-provider relationship developed despite the lack of face-to-face contact. Internet-based treatment programs can increase access to care and empower women.