A randomized controlled trial of pelvic floor muscle training for stages I and II pelvic organ prolapse

Abstract

Forty-seven women participated in a pilot study for a multi-centre randomized controlled trial of the effectiveness of pelvic floor muscle training (PFMT) for women with prolapse. Women with symptomatic stage I or II prolapse [measured by Pelvic Organ Prolapse Quantification (POP-Q)] were randomized to a 16-week physiotherapy intervention (PFMT and lifestyle advice; n = 23) or a control group receiving a lifestyle advice sheet (n = 24). Symptom severity and quality of life were measured via postal questionnaires. Blinded POP-Q was performed at baseline and follow-up. Intervention women had significantly greater improvement than controls in prolapse symptoms (mean score decrease 3.5 versus 0.1, p = 0.021), were significantly more likely to have an improved prolapse stage (45% versus 0%, p = 0.038) and were significantly more likely to say their prolapse was better (63% versus 24%, p = 0.012). The data support the feasibility of a substantive trial of PFMT for prolapse. A multi-centre trial is underway.

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Acknowledgements

Thanks are due to the participants who made the study possible and the staff; in Aberdeen, Chris Bain (Gynaecologist), Lynne Swan (recruitment), Sandra Whyte (intervention physiotherapist), Liz Crothers (intervention physiotherapist); and in Glasgow, Stewart Pringle (Gynaecologist), Sarah Hinks (recruitment), Jackie Montgomery (intervention physiotherapist), June McGourty (intervention physiotherapist) and Philippa Dall (data entry).

Funding

This study was funded by the Chief Scientist Office, Scottish Government (CZH/4/95).

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None.

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Correspondence to Suzanne Hagen.

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Hagen, S., Stark, D., Glazener, C. et al. A randomized controlled trial of pelvic floor muscle training for stages I and II pelvic organ prolapse. Int Urogynecol J 20, 45–51 (2009). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00192-008-0726-4

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Keywords

  • Pelvic floor muscle training
  • Pelvic organ prolapse
  • Physiotherapy
  • pilot study
  • POP-Q