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Br J Gen Pract. 1991 November; 41(352): 445–449.
PMCID: PMC1371786

Controlled trial of pelvic floor exercises in the treatment of urinary stress incontinence in general practice.


The aim of this study was to assess the usefulness of pelvic floor exercises in the treatment of urinary incontinence in women and to analyse the factors which determine a successful outcome. The study involved 66 women who had reported 'genuine stress incontinence' to their general practitioner. They were assigned at random to the treatment or control group. The treatment group received instructions in pelvic floor exercises from a general practitioner. The control group received no therapy. At the start of the trial the severity of the patients' incontinence was assessed objectively. This assessment was repeated after three months and patients were also asked for their own perception of whether their incontinence had improved. After the three months' evaluation the patients in the control group were also given instructions in pelvic floor exercises. After another three months they were assessed in the same way. About 60% of the patients in the treatment group were dry or mildly incontinent after three months compared with only one patient in the control group; the mean weekly frequency of incontinence episodes fell from 17 to five in the treatment group but remained virtually unchanged in the control group; and about 85% of the women in the treatment group felt that their incontinence had improved or was cured compared with no one in the control group. These results were later corroborated by those for the control group. The most important factor in the success of the treatment was the patients' motivation, as demonstrated by their adherence to the daily exercises.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

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Selected References

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