International Urogynecology Journal

, Volume 23, Issue 9, pp 1231–1237

High prevalence of pelvic floor muscle dysfunction in hospitalized elderly women with urinary incontinence

  • Helena Talasz
  • Stephan C. Jansen
  • Markus Kofler
  • Monika Lechleitner
Original Article

DOI: 10.1007/s00192-011-1628-4

Cite this article as:
Talasz, H., Jansen, S.C., Kofler, M. et al. Int Urogynecol J (2012) 23: 1231. doi:10.1007/s00192-011-1628-4


Introduction and hypothesis

The purpose of this study was to determine pelvic floor muscle (PFM) function in hospitalized elderly women with urinary incontinence (UI).


A cross-sectional study was performed using data of 704 patients, routinely collected by means of a clinical UI assessment.


Only 25.5% of the patients were able to perform normal PFM contractions (Oxford grading scale score ≥3); 74.5% were unable to contract their PFM or showed weak PFM activity without circular contraction or elevation of the vagina. Vulvovaginal mucosal dystrophy was noted in 84% of the patients. A significant positive correlation of PFM function was found to cognitive status (MMSE score), mobility (Tinetti performance score), and history of previous PFM training; a negative correlation of PFM function was found to patients’ age and vulvovaginal mucosal dystrophy, and no significant correlation to body mass index, parity, or history of hysterectomy.


Targeted clinical UI assessment including digital vaginal palpation should be performed in all incontinent elderly women in order to detect PFM dysfunction and to optimize therapeutic measures.


Elderly incontinent women Pelvic floor muscle function Urinary incontinence Urinary incontinence assessment 

Copyright information

© The International Urogynecological Association 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Helena Talasz
    • 1
  • Stephan C. Jansen
    • 2
  • Markus Kofler
    • 3
  • Monika Lechleitner
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Internal and Geriatric MedicineHochzirl HospitalZirlAustria
  2. 2.Department of Internal and Geriatric Medicine and Palliative CareDeggendorf HospitalDeggendorfGermany
  3. 3.Department of NeurologyHochzirl HospitalZirlAustria

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