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Mobile application based pelvic floor muscle training for treatment of stress urinary incontinence: an assessor-blind, randomized, controlled trial
Kijmanawat A, Saraluck A, Manonai J, Wattanayingcharoenchai R, Aimjirakul K, Chinthakanan O
Journal of Clinical Medicine 2023 Nov;12(22):7003
clinical trial
7/10 [Eligibility criteria: Yes; Random allocation: Yes; Concealed allocation: Yes; Baseline comparability: Yes; Blind subjects: No; Blind therapists: No; Blind assessors: Yes; Adequate follow-up: No; Intention-to-treat analysis: Yes; Between-group comparisons: Yes; Point estimates and variability: Yes. Note: Eligibility criteria item does not contribute to total score] *This score has been confirmed*

A first-line treatment for stress urinary incontinence (SUI) is pelvic floor muscle training (PFMT) for at least three months. The key problem is that patients do not understand the importance of these exercises and their effectiveness. Mobile health apps offer new possibilities to increase treatment adherence. This study compared a reduction in SUI, exercise adherence, and quality of life in PFMT with animation versus standard instruction. A prospective, single-blind, randomized control trial was collected. SUI patients were randomized into the application or control groups confirmed using a one-hour pad test. In the intervention group, the PFMT application was applied via mobile phone (PFMT with animations, recording system, and reminder system). The standard exercise protocol was similar in both groups. Additional follow-up was conducted at 4, 8, and 12 weeks. A total of 51 participants were randomized to the application (n = 26) and control groups (n = 25), respectively. At the 12-week follow-up, there was no significant difference between the two groups in terms of SUI cure rate, SUI severity by pad test, and daily SUI episodes from the bladder diary (p-value of 0.695, 0.472, and 0.338, respectively). The mean PFME adherence in the application group was higher than the control group at 8 weeks (66.3 +/- 13.6 versus 52.7 +/- 16.6, p = 0.002) and 12 weeks (59.1 +/- 13.9 versus 37.8 +/- 11.0, p = 0.001). The application group reported no difference from the conventional PFMT group in terms of improvements in SUI cure rate, symptom severity, and quality of life effects at 12-week follow-up. However, the improvement evaluated by the mean difference in SUI episodes and quality of life effects (ICIQ-UI SF) reported a better outcome in the mobile app group. The PFMT application has been proven to be an effective tool that improves PFMT adherence.

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