To assess the clinical efficacy of commercially available pelvic muscle training devices on the treatment of pelvic floor disorders.
We searched MEDLINE, Web of Science, and ClinicalTrials.gov through April 2020. We included observational cohort studies and randomized trials. Case reports, case series, and conference poster presentations were excluded. Studies using vaginal weights or cones and those conducted in the peripartum periods were also excluded.
TABULATION, INTEGRATION, AND RESULTS:
A total of 294 studies were screened. Twenty-six studies were included in the qualitative analysis, and 15 studies were eligible for meta-analyses. Study characteristics and quality were recorded for each study. Meta-analysis showed a large positive effect of commercially available pelvic floor training devices on pelvic floor muscle strength by both objective and subjective measures. Meta-analysis of objective measures showed a reduction of 1.2 pads per day (P<.01), 1.3 incontinence episodes per day, (P<.01) and 11 g on 24-hour pad test (P<.01). Meta-analysis of subjective measures showed a reduction in UDI-6 (Urogenital Distress Inventory, Short Form) scores by 25.1 points (P<.01) and in IIQ-7 scores (Incontinence Impact Questionnaire, Short Form) by 14.1 points (P=.01). There was an increase in I-QOL (Incontinence Quality of Life) scores by 16.8 points (P<.01). The minimal important difference was met for the UDI-6 and I-QOL but not for the IIQ-7. We were unable to perform meta-analysis to evaluate whether pelvic floor training devices are as effective as traditional supervised pelvic floor physical therapy.
Commercially available home pelvic floor training devices are effective in increasing strength of pelvic floor muscles and in the treatment of pelvic floor disorders.