International Urogynecology Journal

, Volume 24, Issue 8, pp 1361–1369 | Cite as

Do women with pelvic floor dysfunction referred by gynaecologists and urologists at hospitals complete a pelvic floor muscle training programme? A retrospective study, 1992–2008

  • Sigrid Tibaek
  • Christian Dehlendorff
Original Article


Introduction and hypothesis

For decades women with pelvic floor dysfunction (PFD) have been referred to pelvic floor muscle training (PFMT), but there is only little information on whether the women complete the programmes and why. The objectives of this study were to investigate to which extent women completed a PFMT programme to which they were referred by gynaecologists and urologists and to identify associated factors for completion.


In a hospital-based, retrospective clinical design women with PFD referred to a free PFMT programme as outpatients were included. The PFMT programme consisted of: (a) vaginal digital palpation test of PFM, (b) individual instructions, (c) introduction (theory), (d) weekly supervised PFMT in groups for 3 months (12 sessions) and (e) progressive home exercises (10 sets).


Data were analysed in 1,544 women, mean age 54 (SD 13) years, with PFD (urinary incontinence, n = 1,214; anal incontinence, n = 41; pelvic organ prolapse, n = 162; other PFD, n = 127). In total 747 (48 %) subjects completed (attended ≥8 sessions) the PFMT programme, 466 (30 %) dropped out and 331 (22 %) cancelled or stayed away. Age, year of referral and nationality were significantly different (p < 0.01) between completers and non-completers. Likewise, year of referral, distance from home to hospital, waiting list times and diagnosis were significantly different (p < 0.01) between dropouts and subjects who cancelled or stayed away.


The results showed that less than half of the women with PFD completed a PFMT programme to which they were referred by gynaecologists and urologists. The most important associated factors for completion were age, year of referral and nationality.


Pelvic floor dysfunction Pelvic floor muscle training Completion Women 



The study was funded by the Department of Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy, Copenhagen University, Glostrup, Denmark. The authors wish to thank Anne Kure and Susi Jeppesen, Department of Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy, Copenhagen University Hospital, Glostrup for their secretarial assistance.

Conflicts of interest



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Copyright information

© The International Urogynecological Association 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Physiotherapy and Occupational TherapyCopenhagen University Hospital GlostrupGlostrupDenmark
  2. 2.Danish Cancer Society Research CenterDanish Cancer SocietyCopenhagenDenmark

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