PURPOSE: Urinary incontinence (UI) is a frequent and complex condition that negatively affects women's quality of life (QoL). Weight loss and pelvic floor muscle training (PFMT) are first-line treatments of UI. The study aimed to reduce the symptoms of UI on QoL in overweight women by a multidisciplinary intervention including diet, physical exercise, and PFMT.
METHODS: In this non-blinded prospective interventional study, women with stress or mixed UI were included in an intervention combining dietary counseling, physical exercise in groups, and individually planned PFMT. The primary outcome measure was the International Consultation on Incontinence Questionnaire-Urinary Incontinence Short Form (ICIQ-UI SF). The Patient Global Impression of Improvement (PGI-I) was used at 12 and 36 weeks. Also, anthropometric measures, pelvic floor muscle strength (PFMS), and physical performance were measured at baseline, 12, and 36 weeks. The primary aim of this study was to reduce the ICIQ-UI SF score by minimum of 2.6 points.
RESULTS: Thirty-three women participated in the study. Nine dropped out during the intervention. The ICIQ-UI SF score was reduced by 6.8 and 4.5 points at 12 and 36 weeks, respectively. PGI-I revealed satisfaction with the results. Furthermore, weight was reduced by 2.6 and 3.6 kg at 12 and 36 weeks, respectively, and PFMS improved significantly.
CONCLUSION: Despite a limited mean weight loss of 3.6 kg, participants reported a significant decrease in the symptoms and the burden of UI. Using PFMT as an integrated part of the intervention might have contributed to the improvements and could be subject to future research.