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European Journal of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine 2017 June;53(3):416-25

DOI: 10.23736/S1973-9087.16.04119-8

Copyright © 2016 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Can pelvic floor muscle training improve quality of life in men with mild to moderate post‑stroke and lower urinary tract symptoms?

Sigrid TIBAEK 1 , Gunvor GARD 2, Christian DEHLENDORFF 3, Helle K. IVERSEN 4, Fin, BIERING‑SOERENSEN 5, Rigmor JENSEN 4

1 Department of Occupational Therapy and Physiotherapy, Rigshospitalet, Glostrup, Denmark; 2 Division of Physiotherapy, Department of Health Sciences, Lund University, Lund, Sweden; 3 Danish Cancer Society Research Center, Copenhagen, Denmark; 4 Department of Neurology, Rigshospitalet, Glostrup, Denmark; 5 Clinic of Spinal Cord Injuries, Rigshospitalet, Glostrup, Denmark


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BACKGROUND: Lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) have a significant impact on quality of life (QoL) in post‑stroke patients.
AIM: The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of pelvic floor muscle training (PFMT) on QoL parameters in men with post‑stroke LUTS.
DESIGN: Randomized, controlled and single‑blinded trial.
SETTING: Outpatients, University Hospital.
POPULATION: Thirty‑one men, median age 68 (interquartile range 60-74) years, with post‑stroke LUTS were included. Thirty participants completed the study.
METHODS: The participants randomized to the treatment group were treated in a systematic, controlled and intensive PFMT program over 3 months (12 weekly sessions). The participants randomized to the control group did not receive specific LUTS treatment. The effect was measured on the 36-Item Short Form Health Survey (SF-36) and the Nocturia Quality‑of‑Life (N‑QoL) Questionnaire.
RESULTS: The results on SF-36 indicated significant improvement within pre- and post‑test in the domains emotional role (median 77 to 100, P=0.03) and vitality (median 65 to 70, P=0.03) in the treatment group, but not the control group. There were no statistically significant differences between groups at pre‑test, post‑test or 6-month follow‑up. The results on N‑QoL indicated statistically significant differences between pre- and post‑test in the bother/concern domain in both groups and in sleep/energy for the control group, but not the treatment group. There were no statistically significant differences between groups.
CONCLUSIONS: PFMT may improve the emotional health and vitality domains of QoL in men with mild to moderate post‑stroke and LUTS; however the improvements in the treatment group were not significantly better than for the control group. PFMT did not improve nocturia‑related QoL.
CLINICAL REHABILITATION IMPACT: This study is the first to evaluate the effect of PFMT on QoL parameters in men with mild to moderate post‑stroke and LUTS. The results indicate some short‑term effect on SF-36 but none on N‑QoL. However, further studies with larger sample sizes and with less restrictive inclusion and exclusion criteria are requested.


KEY WORDS: Low urinary tract symptoms - Pelvic floor - Quality of life - Stroke

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