PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of combined pelvic floor muscle exercises (PFMEs) and a novel electrical stimulation (ES) device versus PFMEs alone on lower urinary tract symptoms, urinary incontinence-related quality of life, and pelvic floor muscle contractions (PFMCs). DESIGN: Nonrandomized comparison cohort study. SUBJECTS AND SETTING: The sample comprised 54 community-dwelling middle-aged women with stress urinary incontinence recruited from churches and cultural centers in Gyeonggi Province, South Korea. Comparisons of demographic and pertinent clinical characteristics revealed no significant differences between the experimental and comparison groups. METHODS: Participants allocated to the combined intervention group (n = 27) performed self-exercises of the pelvic floor muscles 3 times a day under weekly telephone coaching, and they used the ES device twice daily for 8 weeks. Participants in the comparison group (n = 27) received the PFMEs alone without telephone coaching. The 3 main outcomes including lower urinary tract symptoms, urinary incontinence-related quality of life, and PFMCs were measured using the Bristol Female Lower Urinary Tract Symptom instrument (BFLUTS), King's Health Questionnaire (KHQ), and a perineometer, respectively. Study outcomes were measured at baseline and at the end of the 8-week period. RESULTS: Participants in the experimental group achieved significantly greater reductions in lower urinary tract symptoms (t = -4.07, P <.001) and improvement in urinary incontinence-related quality of life (P =.006), peak PFMC pressure (P =.004), mean pelvic muscle contraction (PMC) pressure (P <.001), and duration of PFMCs (P <.001) when compared to participants undergoing PFMEs alone. CONCLUSIONS: Combined ES and pelvic floor exercise was more effective in reducing severity of lower urinary tract symptoms, enhancing health-related quality of life, and increasing PMC pressure in middle-aged women with stress urinary incontinence than PFMEs alone.
- Electrical stimulation
- Middle-aged women
- Stress urinary incontinence
- Urinary incontinence-related quality of life
- Vaginal contraction pressure