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Postoperative physiotherapy in women undergoing pelvic floor reconstructive surgery: a randomized controlled clinical trial
Brandt C, van Vuuren ECJ
Physiotherapy Canada 2022 May;74(2):126-138
clinical trial
6/10 [Eligibility criteria: Yes; Random allocation: Yes; Concealed allocation: Yes; Baseline comparability: No; Blind subjects: No; Blind therapists: No; Blind assessors: Yes; Adequate follow-up: Yes; Intention-to-treat analysis: Yes; Between-group comparisons: Yes; Point estimates and variability: No. Note: Eligibility criteria item does not contribute to total score] *This score has been confirmed*

PURPOSE: Postoperative physiotherapy in conjunction with pelvic organ prolapse (POP) surgery is still under-investigated and controversial. In this randomized controlled trial, pelvic floor muscle training (PFMT) and abdominal training were compared with a control condition (standard in-hospital treatment). METHOD: Eighty-one women were randomized to one of three groups. The Prolapse Quality of Life questionnaire, two-dimensional ultrasound, Pelvic Organ Prolapse Quantification System scale, the PERFECT (power, endurance, repetitions, fast contractions, every contraction timed) scheme, electromyography, Sahrmann scale, and pressure biofeedback unit (PBU) were used to measure quality of life (QOL), POP, and pelvic floor and abdominal muscle function. A mixed-model analysis of variance and the Kruskal-Wallis test was used for analysis. RESULTS: Beneficial effects (p < 0.05) were found for the PFMT group -- increased power, number of fast contractions, amount of movement, endurance, and Sahrmann and PBU measures -- compared with the control group. Abdominal training led to a significant (p < 0.05) increase in bulging and discomfort, number of pelvic floor muscle contractions, and Sahrmann and PBU measures compared with the control condition; both groups showed significantly increased urinary frequency (p < 0.05). CONCLUSIONS: Postoperative physiotherapy did not have a beneficial effect on QOL or POP symptoms. PFMT and abdominal training had beneficial effects on pelvic floor muscle function and abdominal muscle measures. Additional abdominal training led to increased symptoms.

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