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Prevention of Urinary Incontinence by Behavioral Modification Program: a Randomized, Controlled Trial Among Older Women in the Community

Publication Abstract

Diokno, A.C., C.M. Sampselle, A.R. Herzog, Trivellore Raghunathan, S. Hines, K.L. Messer, C. Karl, and M. C A Leite. 2004. "Prevention of Urinary Incontinence by Behavioral Modification Program: a Randomized, Controlled Trial Among Older Women in the Community." Journal of Urology, 171:1165-1171.

Purpose: We determined whether a behavioral modification program (BMP) taught to groups of continent older women would decrease the incidence of urinary incontinence, increase pelvic muscle strength and improve voiding control. Materials and Methods: We performed a randomized, controlled trial comparing a BMP treatment group to a control, no treatment group in ambulatory, postmenopausal, continent women (0 to 5 days of incontinent episodes in the previous year) 55 years and older who were followed for 12 months. Qualified volunteers from 4 Michigan counties were randomly assigned to a control or a treatment group, consisting of a 2-hour classroom presentation on BMP followed 2 to 4 weeks later with individualized evaluation to test knowledge, adherence and skills in behavioral techniques, and brief reinforcement of the technique as needed. Followup was done by telephone and mail every 3 months except month 12, when all participants underwent final clinical evaluation. Outcome measures were continence status, pelvic floor muscle strength and voiding frequency/intervoid interval. Results: A total of 195 control and 164 treated participants completed the study. Baseline data on the 2 groups were not statistically different. At 12 months the treatment group was statistically significantly better than the control group in continence status (p = 0.01), pelvic muscle strength (pressure score p = 0.0003 and displacement score p <0.0001), improved voiding frequency (p <0.0001) and intervoid interval (p <0.0001). Conclusions: To our knowledge we report the first randomized, controlled trial of BMP for preventing urinary incontinence in older women. It demonstrated feasibility and efficacy in improving continence status, pelvic muscle strength and voiding control as long as a year after treatment.

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