Pelvic-Floor Strength in Women With Incontinence as Assessed by the Brink Scale.

Fitzgerald, M.P., Burgio, K.L., Borello-France, D.F., Menefee, S.A., Schaffer, J., Kraus, S., Mallett, V.T. and Network, Y.X. (2007)

This study aimed to consider whether clinical pelvic floor muscle (PFM) strength (force-generating capacity) is related to patient characteristics, lower urinary tract symptoms, and faecal incontinence symptoms.

PFM strength as described by the Brink scoring system was compared with demographic variables, baseline urinary and faecal incontinence symptom questionnaires, urodynamic data and urinary diary data, pad test results, and standardised assessment of pelvic organ support.

The study found a weak but statistically significant relationship between age and Brink score, which were not related to diary and pad test measures of incontinence severity.  The researchers suggest that PFM strength was found to be good in this large but highly select patient sample of women with stress incontinence, however the possibility exists that the Brink scale does not reflect real clinical differences in PFM strength as there was very little variation in the sample.

Physical Therapy (2007) – Articles ahead of press

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