Effects of Combined Pelvic Floor Muscle Exercise and a Support Group on Urinary Incontinence and Quality of Life of Postprostatectomy Patients

Amy Y. Zhang

Gerald J. Strauss

Laura A. Siminoff

exercise, support group, postoperative
ONF 2007, 34(1), 47-53. DOI: 10.1188/07.ONF.47-53

Purpose/Objectives: To examine the effect of combined pelvic floor muscle exercise (PFME) and a support group on postprostatectomy urinary incontinence and quality of life.

Design: Pilot study of a randomized, controlled clinical trial.

Setting: Two metropolitan hospitals in northeastern Ohio.

Sample: 29 men with postprostatectomy urinary incontinence.

Methods: The participants learned PFME through biofeedback and were randomized to the control group (n = 15) or the support group (n = 14). The control group practiced PFME at home, whereas the support group attended six biweekly group meetings facilitated by a health psychologist. Assessment of urinary incontinence and quality of life was conducted at baseline and three months.

Main Research Variables: Urinary incontinence and disease-specific quality of life.

Findings: Eighty-six percent of the support group participants versus 46% of the control group participants practiced PFME four to seven days per week. The support group had a lower rating of urinary incontinence based on a 0- to 10-point visual analog rating scale than the control group (X = 3.2 versus 4.7), and fewer support group participants used pads (50%) than control group participants (85%) at three months. The support group also scored significantly lower on the severity of incontinence problems than the control group at three months, especially in relationship with spouse and social outing, despite no group difference in these areas at baseline.

Conclusions: The study provided promising evidence regarding the effect of the proposed intervention on adherence to PFME, urinary incontinence, and quality of life.

Implications for Nursing: Reports regarding nursing practice are lacking with respect to PFME. This study suggests that practicing PFME in a group with patients with incontinence who have undergone prostatectomy can be a useful nursing intervention.

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