We examined whether an intervention combining pelvic floor muscle exercise and symptom self-management would improve urinary continence and quality of life in patients with prostate cancer.Materials and Methods:
In a randomized, controlled, longitudinal clinical trial 279 patients with prostate cancer with persistent urinary incontinence were randomized to 1 of 3 groups, including biofeedback pelvic floor muscle exercise plus a support group, the biofeedback exercise plus telephone contact and usual care without intervention. The biofeedback plus support and plus telephone groups received 1 session of biofeedback assisted exercise and 6 biweekly sessions of problem solving therapy. This delivered symptom management skills through a peer support group or telephone contacts for 3 months. All subjects were assessed in blinded fashion at baseline, and 3 and 6 months for urinary leakage frequency, leakage amount and disease specific quality of life.Results:
A total of 244 subjects completed the study. The biofeedback plus support and biofeedback plus telephone groups had a lower frequency of daily urinary leakage than the group with usual care without intervention at 3 months (p = 0.019 and p ≤0.001, respectively) but not at 6 months. The biofeedback plus support group but not the biofeedback plus telephone group had 13.3 gm lower leakage at 6 months than the usual care group (p = 0.003). Overall the biofeedback plus support and plus telephone groups reported less symptom severity (p ≤0.001) and fewer incontinence problems (p ≤ 0.01) than the usual care group at 6 months.Conclusions:
Study findings show that pelvic floor muscle exercise practice plus symptom self-management in a peer support setting can significantly improve urinary continence and quality of life in patients with prostate cancer.