Feasibility of Telerehabilitation-Based Pelvic Floor Muscle Training for Urinary Incontinence in People With Multiple Sclerosis: A Randomized, Controlled, Assessor-Blinded Study

Yavas I., Kahraman T., Sagici O., Ozdogar A. T., Yigit P., Baba C., ...More

Journal of neurologic physical therapy : JNPT, vol.47, no.4, pp.217-226, 2023 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier


BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Urinary incontinence is a common symptom in people with multiple sclerosis. The primary aim was to investigate feasibility of telerehabilitation-based pelvic floor muscle training (Tele-PFMT) and compare its effects on leakage episodes and pad usage with home exercise-based pelvic floor muscle training (Home-PFMT) and control groups. METHODS: Forty-five people with multiple sclerosis with urinary incontinence were randomized into 3 groups. Tele-PFMT and Home-PFMT groups followed the same protocol for 8 weeks, but Tele-PFMT performed exercises 2 sessions/week under a physiotherapist's supervision. The control group did not receive any specific treatment. Assessments were made at baseline, weeks 4, 8, and 12. Primary outcome measures were feasibility (compliance to exercise, patient satisfaction, and number of participants included in the study), number of leakage episodes, and pad usage. Secondary outcomes included severity of urinary incontinence and overactive bladder symptoms, sexual function, quality of life, anxiety, and depression. RESULTS: Participant eligibility rate was 19%. Patient satisfaction and compliance to exercise were significantly higher in Tele-PFMT than in Home-PFMT ( P < 0.05). No significant differences in the change of leakage episodes and pad usage were found between Tele-PFMT and Home-PFMT. No significant differences in secondary outcomes were found between PFMT groups. Participants in both the Tele-PFMT and Home-PFMT groups had significantly better scores for some measures of urinary incontinence, and overactive bladder and quality of life in compared with the control group. DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSIONS: Tele-PFMT was feasible and acceptable in people with multiple sclerosis, and this mode of delivery was associated with greater exercise compliance and satisfaction compared with Home-PFMT. However, Tele-PFMT did not exhibit superiority in terms of leakage episodes and pad usage compared with Home-PFMT. A large trial comparing Home-PFMT and Tele-PFMT is warranted.Video Abstract available for more insights from the authors (see the Video, Supplemental Digital Content, available at: http://links.lww.com/JNPT/A440 ).