The long-term effectiveness of antenatal pelvic floor muscle training: eight-year follow up of a randomised controlled trial

Agur, W.I., Steggles, P., Waterfield, M. and Freeman, R.M. (2008) The long-term effectiveness of antenatal pelvic floor muscle training: eight-year follow up of a randomised controlled trial. BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, 115(8), pp. 985-990. (doi:10.1111/j.1471-0528.2008.01742.x)

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Publisher's URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1471-0528.2008.01742.x

Abstract

Objective

  To determine the long-term effectiveness of antenatal pelvic floor muscle training (PFMT) on stress urinary incontinence (SUI).

Design

  Eight-year follow up of a randomised controlled trial (RCT).

Setting

  Acute NHS Teaching Trust.

Population

  Participants in an RCT of antenatal PFMT 8 years previously.

Method

  Participants were asked about the presence of SUI, impact on quality of life, frequency of performance of PFMT and details of subsequent deliveries.

Main outcome measure

  The prevalence of SUI at 8 years.

Results 

One hundred and sixty-four (71%) of the original 230 women responded. The significant improvement in postnatal SUI originally shown in the PFMT group compared with controls (19.2 versus 32.7%, P = 0.02) at 3 months was not evident 8 years later (35.4 versus 38.8%, P = 0.7). On direct questioning, 68.4% of the study group claimed that they still performed PFMT as taught during the study, with 38.0% of them performing this twice or more per week. There was no difference in outcome between those who performed PFMT twice or more per week compared with those performing PFMT less frequently. There were no differences in quality-of-life domains between the study and the control groups at 8 years.

Conclusion

  The initially beneficial effect of supervised antenatal PFMT on SUI did not continue for a long term despite the majority claiming to still perform PFMT. These findings are in keeping with those of other studies and raise concerns about the long-term efficacy of PFMT. Strategies to improve compliance with PFMT are required.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Agur, Dr Wael
Authors: Agur, W.I., Steggles, P., Waterfield, M., and Freeman, R.M.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Medicine, Dentistry & Nursing
Journal Name:BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology
Publisher:Wiley
ISSN:1470-0328
ISSN (Online):1471-0528
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