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Analysis of Physical Therapy Intervention Outcomes for Urinary Incontinence in Women Older Than 65 Years in Outpatient Clinical Settings

Neville, Cynthia E. DPT, PT, WCS; Beneciuk, Jason PhD, MPH, PT; Bishop, Mark PhD, PT; Alappattu, Meryl PhD, DPT, PT

doi: 10.1097/TGR.0000000000000119
Bladder Control

Background: Conservative interventions provided by physical therapists for the treatment of bladder control problems in adult females are strongly supported in the literature and in clinical practice guidelines. However, physical therapy (PT) intervention outcomes specifically for women older than 65 years with urinary incontinence (UI) in outpatient settings in the United States have not been extensively reported.

Objectives: To provide preliminary PT intervention outcome data specific to female patients older than 65 years receiving outpatient PT for UI.

Design: Preliminary retrospective analysis of a convenience sample of women 65 to 93 years of age.

Methods: Women older than 65 years with UI who were referred to outpatient PT and answered “yes” to a UI screening question at intake completed 3 UI surveys (3 Incontinence Questions [3IQ], Incontinence Impact Questionnaire Short-Form [IIQ-7] and the International Consultation on Incontinence Modular Questionnaire—Urinary Incontinence [ICIQ-UI]). Patients received individualized treatment provided by a physical therapist. Physical therapists were asked to administer the surveys again during and/or after treatment. Demographic, clinical, and health-related quality of life data were collected. Frequency of UI types, UI symptoms, and impact of quality of life were analyzed. Paired samples t test was used to evaluate the change in measures between the initial survey and a follow-up survey.

Results: Surveys were collected from 62 women. Significant changes in scores on 2 outcome measures (ICIQ-UI and IIQ-7) indicated significant reductions in UI symptom severity and improvements in UI-related health-related quality of life after undergoing individualized PT treatment of UI.

Limitations: The study population was a convenience sample. Data on treatment interventions were not collected.

Conclusions: Individualized interventions provided by physical therapists have the potential to significantly improve symptom severity and health-related quality of life in women older than 65 years with different types of UI.

Department of Physical Therapy, University of North Florida, Jacksonville (Dr Neville); SmartBody Physical Therapy, Jacksonville, Florida (Dr Neville); Brooks Rehabilitation–College of Public Health & Health Professions Research Collaboration, University of Florida, Jacksonville (Dr Beneciuk); Department of Physical Therapy, University of Florida, Gainesville (Drs Beneciuk, Bishop, and Alappattu); and Pain Research and Intervention Center of Excellence, University of Florida, Gainesville (Drs Bishop and Alappattu).

Correspondence: Cynthia E. Neville, PT, DPT, WCS, Department of Physical Therapy, University of North Florida, 1839 Ocean Grove Dr, Atlantic Beach, FL 32233 (

This study was funded by Foundation for Physical Therapy, National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, National Center for Medical Rehabilitation Research for Dr Alappattu. The manuscript was written while Dr Beneciuk received support from the National Institutes of Health Rehabilitation Research Career Development Program (K12-HD055929). The authors acknowledge and thank the physical therapists at Brooks Rehabilitation who collected and entered survey data for this study.

The authors have disclosed that they have no significant relationships with, or financial interest in, any commercial companies pertaining to this article.

Copyright © 2016 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.