This study sought to examine the effectiveness of a standardised Urinary Continence Physiotherapy Programme for Chinese older women with stress, urge, or mixed urinary incontinence. A total of 55 women aged over 65 years with mild-to-moderate urinary incontinence took part in the study. Participants were randomly assigned to the intervention group (n=27) where they received eight sessions of Urinary Continence Physiotherapy Programme for 12 weeks. This group received education about urinary incontinence, pelvic floor muscle training with manual palpation and verbal feedback, and behavioural therapy. The control group (n=28) was given advice and an educational pamphlet on urinary incontinence. There was significant improvement in urinary symptoms in the intervention group, especially in the first 5 weeks. Compared with the control group, participants receiving the intervention exhibited significant reduction in urinary incontinence episodes per week with a mean difference of -6.4 (95% confidence interval, -8.9 to -3.9; t= -5.3; P<0.001) and significant improvement of quality of life with a mean difference of -3.93 (95% confidence interval, -5.08 to -2.78; t= -6.9; P<0.001) measured by Incontinence Impact Questionnaire Short Form modified Chinese (Taiwan) version. The subjective perception of improvement, measured by an 11-point visual analogue scale, was markedly better in the intervention group (mean, 8.7; standard deviation, 1.0; 95% confidence interval, 8.4-9.1) than in the control group (mean, 1.4; standard deviation, 0.7; 95% confidence interval, 1.2-1.7; t=33.9; P<0.001). The mean treatment satisfaction in the intervention group was 9.5 (standard deviation, 0.8) as measured by an 11-point visual analogue scale.
This study demonstrated that the Urinary Continence Physiotherapy Programme was effective in relieving urinary symptoms among Chinese older women with mild-to-moderate heterogeneous urinary incontinence.