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Pelvic Floor Health Education: Can a Workshop Enhance Patient Counseling During Pregnancy?

Hyakutake, Momoe T. MD, FRCSC; Han, Vanessa MD; Cundiff, Geoffrey W. MD, FRCSC; Baerg, Lauren BSc; Koenig, Nicole A. BA; Lee, Terry PhD; Geoffrion, Roxana MDCM, FRCSC

Female Pelvic Medicine & Reconstructive Surgery: September/October 2016 - Volume 22 - Issue 5 - p 336–339
doi: 10.1097/SPV.0000000000000285
Original Articles

Objectives Pelvic floor disorders commonly affect women's quality of life. Their etiology is multifactorial, yet pregnancy and vaginal delivery (VD) are major inciting risk factors. Our objectives were to assess pelvic floor health information given by maternity providers to their pregnant patients, to create a pelvic floor health information workshop, and to determine its impact on women's preferences for mode of delivery.

Methods This descriptive study recruited primiparous women with a singleton gestation at St Paul's Hospital in Vancouver, Canada. Participants received a 2-hour workshop describing pelvic floor disorders and pregnancy, modes of delivery, as well as strategies for maintaining pelvic floor health and preventing disease. Women completed questionnaires assessing baseline knowledge and level of comfort with different modes of delivery before and after the workshop.

Results Forty participants completed the workshop. Seventy percent had an obstetrician, 20% had a midwife, and 10% had a family physician. Five percent of the participants reported receiving information regarding pelvic organ prolapse as well as urinary and fecal incontinence. The workshop did not influence women's preferred mode of delivery, including VD (P = 1.00), forceps-assisted VD (P = 0.48), vacuum-assisted VD (P = 0.68), postlabor cesarean delivery (P = 0.32), and elective cesarean delivery (P = 0.86).

Conclusions Current antenatal care is lacking in the area of pelvic floor health education. Patient counseling can be enhanced via a standard workshop. Concerns about negatively influencing women's preferences for mode of delivery are unwarranted, as the pelvic floor health workshop, given during pregnancy, did not significantly change participants' preferences.

A workshop on pelvic floor health, administered during pregnancy, can aid with patient counseling and does not change women's preferences regarding mode of delivery.

From the *Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta; †Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia; and ‡Centre for Health Evaluation and Outcome Sciences, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

Reprints: Roxana Geoffrion, MDCM, FRCSC, St. Paul's Hospital, 1190 Hornby St, 4th floor, Vancouver, BC V6Z 2K5, Canada. E-mail:

This study was supported by the (1) Canadian Foundation for Women's Health grant from the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada, and (2) the Summer Student Research Program grant from the University of British Columbia, Canada.

The authors have declared they have no conflicts of interest.

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