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J Wound Ostomy Continence Nurs. 2005 May-Jun;32(3):186-99.

Pelvic floor muscle training with biofeedback and bladder training in elderly women: a feasibility study.

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McGill University, Montréal, Canada.



It is generally assumed that interventions used to treat urinary incontinence (UI) in young women could simply be applied to older competent and motivated women, but these assumptions have not been formally tested. The purpose of this study was to determine the feasibility of using physical therapies to treat UI in older women.


Twelve-week time series.


We recruited women older than 75 years with UI from an outpatient urology clinic and a waiting list for incontinence surgery.


After a baseline evaluation, the women collected data on their incontinence symptoms and bladder habits for 3 weeks using the 72-hour voiding diary and the 24-hour pad test. They then received 6 physical therapy treatments consisting of a combination of bladder training and pelvic floor muscle training assisted with biofeedback for 6 weeks. This was followed by another 3-week period of data collection and a final evaluation.


Ten women participated in the study; 7 completed it. They were all comfortable with the treatment. They complied with the study demands in terms of attendance at treatment session (100%), data collection (96%), and completion of exercises at home (82%). The authors observed a decrease in the number of incontinent and urgency episodes.


This preliminary study demonstrates that some women older than 75 years are good candidates to undertake physical therapies for UI and follow study demands. Random controlled studies that include this population will provide evidence regarding the effectiveness of these therapies.

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