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Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction for Treatment of Urinary Urge Incontinence: A Pilot Study

Baker, Jan APRN*; Costa, Donna DHS; Nygaard, Ingrid MD*

Female Pelvic Medicine & Reconstructive Surgery: January/February 2012 - Volume 18 - Issue 1 - p 46–49
doi: 10.1097/SPV.0b013e31824107a6
Original Articles

Objective The objective of the study was to evaluate if a mindfulness-based stress reduction program is a viable treatment worthy of further evaluation for the treatment of urinary urge incontinence.

Methods This was a single-arm pilot study of 7 women who participated in an 8-week mindfulness-based stress reduction program to evaluate its effectiveness in reducing urinary leakage episodes. Improvement was measured by 3-day bladder diary, Overactive Bladder Symptom and Quality of Life–Short Form, Health-Related Quality of Life, and Patient Global Impression of Improvement. Outcome data were analyzed by means of paired t tests.

Results Mean incontinence episodes per day decreased from 4.14 (SD, 1.96; range, 2.67–7.67) at baseline to 1.23 (SD, 0.93; range, 0.33–2.67) after treatment (P = 0.0005 for change). After treatment, 5 of 7 women were improved based on the Patient Global Impression of Improvement, and 2 were unchanged. Significant improvements on both Health-Related Quality of Life and Overactive Bladder Symptom and Quality of Life–Short Form were reported after treatment. Results were sustained at 1 year in 4 of 7 women. Two women sought treatment, and one was lost to follow-up at 12 months.

Conclusions Mindfulness-based stress reduction appears to be a treatment worthy of further study, as in the short term, it is as effective as historical studies of drug treatment and bladder training in reducing urge incontinence and incontinence-related quality of life.

In this pilot study a mindfulness based stress reduction program shows promise in treating urinary urge incontinence.

From the Departments of *Obstetrics and Gynecology and †Occupational Therapy, University of Utah School of Medicine, Salt Lake City, UT.

Reprints: Jan Baker, APRN, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Room 2B200, University of Utah School of Medicine, 1900 E 30 North, Salt Lake City, UT 84132. E-mail:

Dr Baker is a Pfizer research advisory panel.

The authors declare that they have nothing to disclose.

© 2012 by Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins