NEUROUROLOGY AND URODYNAMICS, vol.41, no.8, pp.1781-1792, 2022 (SCI-Expanded)
Objective In this study, the combination of external electrical stimulation (EES) with pelvic floor muscle training (PFMT) was assessed to determine if it yielded better results than PFMT or EES alone for treatment of stress urinary incontinence (SUI). Study Design Fifty-one women with SUI were randomly allocated to EES + PFMT (n = 17), PFMT (n = 17), or EES groups (n = 17) for 8 weeks of treatment. Personal, demographic, and clinical characteristics of the patients were recorded. Outcome measures included self-reported improvement, severity of incontinence, symptom distress, quality of life (QOL), urinary incontinence episodes, pelvic floor muscle strength (PFMS) and endurance (PFME) and dysfunction. All evaluations were made pre- and posttreatment. Data were analyzed using the Chi-square, marginal homogeneity, Kruskal-Wallis, Wilcoxon signed-rank or paired t test and Dunn-Bonferroni post hoc tests. Results In the 8th week, there were significant changes in self-reported improvement, severity of incontinence, symptom distress score, urinary incontinence episodes, PFMS, PFME, pelvic floor dysfunction and all areas of QoL in all groups (p < 0.05). Combined therapy was not superior to PFMT and EES for overall outcome measures, except for the incontinence impact subdomain of the QoL score (p < 0.05). Conclusions Our study supports the idea that PFMT should be preferred as the first line therapy for women with SUI. However, the acceptable EES method can be recommended in addition to PFMT to increase motivation and treatment compliance in patients with insufficient or inaccurate pelvic floor muscle contractions.