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BMJ. 2002 May 25;324(7348):1241.

Promoting urinary continence in women after delivery: randomised controlled trial.

Author information

  • 1Faculty of Health, School of Population Health Sciences, University of Newcastle, Box 24, Callaghan, NSW 2308, Australia. Pauline.Chiarelli@newcastle.edu.au

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

To test the effectiveness of a physiotherapist delivered intervention designed to prevent urinary incontinence among women three months after giving birth.

DESIGN:

Prospective randomised controlled trial with women randomised to receive the intervention (which entailed training in pelvic floor exercises and incorporated strategies to improve adherence) or usual postpartum care.

SETTING:

Postpartum wards of three tertiary teaching hospitals in the Hunter region, New South Wales, Australia.

PARTICIPANTS:

Women who had forceps or ventouse deliveries or whose babies had a high birth weight (> or =4000 g), or both-676 (348 in the intervention group and 328 in the usual care group) provided endpoint data at three months.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Urinary incontinence at three months measured as a dichotomous variable. The severity of incontinence was also measured. Self report of the frequency of performance of pelvic floor exercises was recorded.

RESULTS:

At three months after delivery, the prevalence of incontinence in the intervention group was 31.0% (108 women) and in the usual care group 38.4% (125 women); difference 7.4% (95% confidence interval 0.2% to 14.6%, P=0.044). At follow up significantly fewer women with incontinence were classified as severe in the intervention group (10.1%) v (17.0%), difference 7.0%, 1.6% to 11.8%). The proportions of women reporting doing pelvic floor exercises at adequate levels was 84% (80% to 88%) for the intervention group and 58% (52% to 63%) for the usual care group (P=0.001).

CONCLUSIONS:

The intervention promoting urinary continence reduced the prevalence of urinary incontinence after giving birth, particularly its severity, and promoted the performance of pelvic floor exercises at adequate levels; both continence and adherence to the programme were measured at three months after delivery in women who had forceps or ventouse deliveries or babies weighing 4000 g or more.

PMID:
12028976
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC113274
Free PMC Article
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