Pelvic floor muscle training versus no treatment, or inactive control treatments, for urinary incontinence in women

Pelvic floor muscle training (PFMT) is a frequently used physical therapy for women with urinary incontinence (UI). The aim of this study was to determine the effects of PFMT for women with UI in comparison to no treatment, placebo or other inactive control treatments. Twenty-one trials (1281 women) were included; 18 trials (1051 women) added data to the meta-analysis. In women with stress UI, there was high quality evidence that PFMT is related to cure (RR 8.38; 95% CI 3.68 to 19.07) and moderate quality evidence of cure or improvement (RR 17.33; 95% CI 4.31 to 69.64). In women with any type of UI, there was also moderate quality evidence that PFMT is associated with cure (RR 5.5; 95% CI 2.87-10.52), or cure and improvement (RR 2.39; 95% CI 1.64-3.47).

The addition of seven new trials did not alter the basic findings of the earlier version of this review. In this iteration, using the GRADE quality criteria reinforced the suggestions for PFMT and a broader range of secondary outcomes (also generally in favor of PFMT) were reported.

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