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International Urogynecology Journal

, Volume 26, Issue 11, pp 1709–1712 | Cite as

Virtual reality: a proposal for pelvic floor muscle training

  • Simone BotelhoEmail author
  • Natalia Miguel Martinho
  • Valéria Regina Silva
  • Joseane Marques
  • Leonardo C. Carvalho
  • Cássio Riccetto
IUJ Video

Abstract

Introduction and hypothesis

This video’s proposal was to present one of the pelvic floor muscle (PFM) training programs, used in our research, that we designed as a virtual reality intervention protocol and investigated its effects on PFM contractility.

Methods

Two clinical, controlled and prospective studies were conducted, one with 19 nulliparous women without urinary symptoms, who were evaluated by both electromyography and digital palpation (DP) and another with 27 postmenopausal women with mixed urinary symptoms (assessed by both ICIQ UI-SF and ICIQ-OAB), evaluated by vaginal dynamometry and DP, with a total of 46 women in both studies. This protocol was designed so that the participant would play a video game, seated on a pressure base platform, while commanding it through her pelvic movements. Using a virtual reality game, five activities were performed during 30 min, twice a week, with a total of 10 sessions.

Results

A significant increase in PFM strength was found in both the nulliparous (p = 0.0001) and the postmenopausal (p = 0.0001) groups of women, as ascertained by DP. A significant increase in postmenopausal women’s muscle strength and endurance assessed by dynamometry (p = 0.05) and a concomitant decrease in their urinary symptoms, were observed.

Conclusion

This virtual reality program promoted an increase in PFM contractility and a decrease in postmenopausal urinary symptoms.

Keywords

Virtual reality exposure therapy Pelvic floor Electromyography Muscle strength dynamometer Digital palpation Urinary symptoms 

Notes

Acknowledgements

CAPES (Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior); FAPEMIG (Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de Minas Gerais)—(APQ-02794–11); UNIFAL/MG (Universidade Federal de Alfenas) for granting both the PIB Pós scholarship and CEAD (Centro de Educaçao a Distancia).

Conflicts of interest

None.

Supplementary material

ESM 1

The proposal of this video was to present one of the pelvic floor muscle (PFM) training programs, used in our research, that we had designed as a virtual reality intervention protocol and investigated its effects on PFM contractility. (MP4 25428 kb)

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Copyright information

© The International Urogynecological Association 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Simone Botelho
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Natalia Miguel Martinho
    • 1
  • Valéria Regina Silva
    • 1
    • 2
  • Joseane Marques
    • 1
    • 2
  • Leonardo C. Carvalho
    • 1
  • Cássio Riccetto
    • 2
  1. 1.Course of Physiotherapy, Nursing SchoolFederal University of Alfenas (UNIFAL-MG)AlfenasBrazil
  2. 2.Department of Surgery/Faculty of Medical SciencesState University of Campinas (UNICAMP)São PauloBrazil

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