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Correlation of Self-Efficacy for Pelvic Floor Muscle Exercise with Symptoms of Stress Urinary Incontinence in Women

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Introduction and hypothesis

Self-efficacy for pelvic floor exercises, i.e. confidence in achieving pelvic floor contractions, may predict adherence to treatment. However, there is a paucity of literature investigating the clinical relevance of this outcome. The aim was to determine the relationship between self-efficacy for pelvic floor exercise and symptom severity, pelvic floor distress and impact on quality of life, as well as sociodemographic characteristics and pelvic floor muscle strength in women with stress urinary incontinence (SUI).


A cross-sectional study was conducted in women with SUI. The Spanish version of the Broome Pelvic Muscle Self-Efficacy Scale was used to assess self-efficacy for pelvic floor exercise. The dependent variables were: urinary incontinence symptoms using the International Consultation on Incontinence Questionnaire, short form (ICIQ-SF), pelvic floor distress symptoms using the Urogenital Distress Inventory-6, impact on quality of life using the Incontinence Impact Questionnaire (IIQ-7), leakage using the 1-h pad test, number of SUI episodes per week and pelvic floor muscle strength.


A total of 56 women with a median age of 44.5 years were included. Self-efficacy for pelvic floor exercise correlated negatively and moderately with the ICIQ-SF (r = −0.529; p < 0.001), IIQ-7 (r = −0.442; p = 0.001), 1-h pad test (rs = −0.467; p < 0.001); and number of SUI episodes/week (rs = −0.489; p < 0.001). Correlation with the other outcomes was weak or non-existent. Linear regression with forward selection showed that the ICIQ-SF was the variable most related to self-efficacy (β: −3.01, 95% CI: −4.03 to −1.69).


These findings highlight the importance of assessing self-efficacy for pelvic floor exercise in the treatment of women with SUI. Future prospective studies are needed to confirm these findings.

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Data Availability

The data that support the findings of this study is available from the corresponding author upon reasonable request.


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Author information

Authors and Affiliations



Y.E.-R.: protocol development, data collection, manuscript writing; M.T.-L.: protocol development, writing (review and editing); J. Casaña: protocol development; R.N.-C.: data analysis, manuscript writing; J. Calatayud: protocol development, writing (review and editing).

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Rodrigo Núñez-Cortés.

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Ethics Statement

The study was approved by the Ethics Committee of the University of Valencia and the San Agustín del Guadalix Clinic Centre Madrid, Spain (registry number: 106950).

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Er-Rabiai, Y., Torres-Lacomba, M., Casaña, J. et al. Correlation of Self-Efficacy for Pelvic Floor Muscle Exercise with Symptoms of Stress Urinary Incontinence in Women. Int Urogynecol J (2024).

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