Aim: To determine the effects of exercise treatment with or without heat and steam generating sheet (HSGS) on reducing urine loss in community-dwelling elderly women with urinary incontinence (UI).
Methods: One hundred and forty-seven community-dwelling women aged 70 years and older with stress, urge and mixed UI were randomly assigned to exercise + HSGS (n = 37), exercise only (n = 37), HSGS only (n = 37) or an education group (n = 36). Exercise + HSGS, and exercise groups received exercise training twice a week for 3 months. When the HSGS was placed on the lower back, the temperature of the skin surface rose to 38–40°C and it continued to generate heat and steam for over 5 h. The HSGS group used one sheet per day continuously for 3 months. Urine loss and fitness data were collected at baseline and after intervention.
Results: The intervention groups showed significant improvements in muscle strength and walking speed compared to the education group. Exercise and HSGS showed urine loss cure rates of 54.1%, exercise 34.3% and HSGS 21.6% after treatment; whereas, the education group (2.9%) showed no significant improvement (χ2=21.89, P < 0.001). Combining the HSGS to the exercise intervention showed a 61.5% cure rate for stress UI, 50.0% urge UI and 40.0% mixed UI.
Conclusion: This data suggests that exercise treatment with HSGS is more effective for treating urine loss regardless of UI type. The HSGS can be used as a supplementary treatment method to enhance the effects of exercise on women with urge, mixed and stress UI. Geriatr Gerontol Int 2011; 11: 452–459.