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Int Urogynecol J Pelvic Floor Dysfunct. 2008 Jan;19(1):47-52. Epub 2007 Jun 5.

Rehabilitation versus drug therapy for urge urinary incontinence: long-term outcomes.

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Rehabilitation and Physical Therapy Centre, Maccabi Healthcare Services, Hasachlav 12, 75429, Rishon LeZion, Israel.


The objective of this study was to compare the residual effect of a 3-month rehabilitation treatment and a standard drug treatment for urge urinary incontinence (UUI) 21 months post intervention. Forty-four women (ages 27-68 years) who were diagnosed with overactive bladder (OAB) were divided into 2 treatment groups over 3 months: 24 women received rehabilitation (REH) and 20 women were treated with medication (MED) (oxybutynin ER). Outcomes measures included frequency of urination, quality of life (QoL), and number of side effects (no/SE), which were measured upon entry into the study (entry), completion of the intervention (3 months), and at follow-up 3 and 21 months after completion of treatment. In the follow-up period, there was a significant group-time interaction effect on freq/day and freq/night (p < 0.01). At the end of follow-up, the mean number of no/SE was significantly greater in the MED group compared to the REH group (3.3 +/- 0.5 vs 2.4 +/- 0.4; p < 0.05). A significant negative association was found between the urinary symptoms and the I-QoL at the 21-month follow-up (r (p) = -0.45 to-0.57, p < 0.05). In the long-term, the REH patients maintained and even improved the achievements of the intervention period while the MED patients deteriorated to baseline values in urinary frequency. The suggestion for future work is to investigate the effect of each REH treatment component on UUI symptoms.

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