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The effectiveness of pelvic floor exercise on urinary incontinence in radical prostatectomy patients


Prof. M-S Yang, College of Nursing, Kaohsiung Medical University, 100 Shih-Chuan 1st Road, Kaohsiung 807, Taiwan


Urinary incontinence (UI) is a major complication among patients after radical prostatectomy (RP). Although previous research supports the efficacy of pelvic floor exercises for male UI, there are both positive and no significant effects. The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of pelvic floor exercises on UI after RP. This was a quasi-experimental, randomized, mixed-method study design. All participants were older than 45 years and had undergone an RP. Outcome measurements included a 1-h pad test, personal demographics, and disease-related data. After catheter removal, participants were distributed into either an exercise group (n = 39) or a non-exercise group (n = 28). Patients in the exercise group took part in a pelvic floor exercise during their regular daily activities. The non-exercise group did not perform the prescribed exercise. We examined urinary function at 1, 3 and 6 months after catheter removal. Following a mixed-model anova test for differences, the results of the pad test revealed significant differences for the main effect of time (F = 75·30,P < 0·001), indicating that the amount of urine leakage decreased over time regardless of the group. Results for the main effect of group were statistically significant (F = 8·85,p < 0·01), indicating that urine leakage also decreased over time in both groups, but that urinary control in the exercise group was better than in the non-exercise group. Although improvements in surgical technique have significantly improved the outcome of prostate surgery, we believe that patient education regarding pelvic floor exercises by a nurse prior to and after surgery has a significant impact on the early recovery of urinary continence. We believe these exercises would certainly have a positive impact on our patients undergoing RP by improving the quality of life after major urological surgery.