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Journal of Women's Health Physical Therapy:
doi: 10.1097/JWH.0b013e3182615d3a
Research Report

Assessing Physical Therapy Outcomes for Women With Urinary Incontinence

Dusi, Jodi PhD, MPT1; France, Diane Borello PhD, PT2; George, Susan PT, DPT, MS, OCS, WCS3; Phelps, Amy PhD4; Somers, David PhD, PT2

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Background: Women with urinary incontinence (UI) often have coexisting pelvic symptoms, including bowel and/or pelvic organ prolapse. There are too few published data to conclude whether or not physical therapy (PT) interventions can effectively manage women with UI and coexisting pelvic symptoms.

Objective: The objectives of this study were to (1) determine the efficacy of PT interventions to reduce pelvic symptoms and improve health-related quality of life in women with UI and (2) determine the relationship between selected patient-related characteristics and treatment success.

Design: A pragmatic study design was used.

Methods and Measures: A total of 100 female patients with UI provided data for this study. Women's postintervention impression of symptom improvement was recorded using the Patient Global Index of Improvement (PGI-I). Improvements in pelvic symptoms and health-related quality of life were measured using the Pelvic Floor Distress Inventory-20 and Pelvic Floor Impact Questionnaire-7, respectively. The relationships between patient-related characteristics and PGI-I defined treatment success were explored using logistic regression.

Results: The sample median PGI-I score was “2” indicating symptoms were “much better” after intervention. Mean pre- to postintervention Pelvic Floor Distress Inventory-20 and Pelvic Floor Impact Questionnaire-7 scores were significantly reduced. Only the variables barriers to intervention recommendations (odds ratio, 12.82; 95% confidence interval, 4.05–40.55) and number of PT visits (odds ratio, 1.26; 95% confidence interval, 1.07–1.50) were influential in predicting PGI-I outcome.

Limitations: Limitations of the study were the small sample size and that data were obtained from 1 outpatient PT company.

Conclusions: In our sample of convenience, 66% of women achieved the study criteria for PGI-I treatment success. Patients without barriers to intervention recommendations and patients who attended more PT visits were more likely to attain PGI-I defined success.

Copyright © 2012 Section on Women's Health, American Physical Therapy Association

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