Effect of increasing awareness of pelvic floor muscle function on pelvic floor dysfunction: a randomized controlled trial

Abstract

Introduction and hypothesis

This randomized controlled study with blinding allocation evaluated pelvic floor knowledge (PFK) and the presence of pelvic floor dysfunction (PFD) in women office workers. The effects of receiving pelvic floor muscle (PFM) health education on PFK and PFD were also evaluated.

Methods

Of 161 female volunteers, 145 (90.0 %, age range 18–69 years) responded. They were randomly allocated to three groups (group A 48, group B 48, group C 49). Online surveys were completed by all groups on three occasions using validated tools (Prolapse and Incontinence Knowledge Quiz, PFDI-20, PFIQ-7) and PFM exercise items. On completion of the baseline survey, groups A and B received an education intervention (group C was the control). Following this, all participants completed the second survey. Two months later, to allow time for the PFM exercises to have an effect, group A attended a re-education presentation, followed by the final survey administered to all groups. The results were analyzed using analysis of variance and Tukey’s test.

Results

Participants receiving both PFM exercise education interventions (group A) and those receiving only the first education intervention (group B) showed highly significant improvements in PFK compared with the control group (both p < 0.001). The groups receiving PFM exercise education also showed a highly significant decrease in PFD symptoms (p < 0.001), and a significant increase in quality of life (QoL; p < 0.05).

Conclusions

While the results of this study cannot be generalized to all women, low levels of PFK was associated with high a prevalence of PFD, and an increase in knowledge/awareness following education was significantly associated with an increase in QoL and a decrease in PFD symptoms.

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Acknowledgments

This research study would not have been possible without the generous financial and volunteer contributions made by Manitoba Hydro and the Women’s Health Research Foundation of Canada. The authors would also like to thank Dr. Petra Voorham-van der Zalm, from the Netherlands, for her generosity in sharing her wealth of PFH knowledge, her kindness, and her endless support, and Dr. Farouk Chebib for his contributions to the data analysis.

Conflicts of interest

None.

Authors’ contribution to manuscript

K.M. Berzuk: protocol/project development, data collection, data management, figure editing, table construction, statistical analysis and manuscript writing.

B.L. Shay: protocol/project development, figure construction, table editing and manuscript editing.

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Correspondence to Kelli Berzuk.

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Berzuk, K., Shay, B. Effect of increasing awareness of pelvic floor muscle function on pelvic floor dysfunction: a randomized controlled trial. Int Urogynecol J 26, 837–844 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00192-014-2599-z

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Keywords

  • Awareness
  • Education
  • Incontinence
  • Pelvic floor dysfunction
  • Pelvic floor health knowledge
  • Pelvic floor muscle