Quality-of-Life Outcomes Following Surface Electromyography Biofeedback as an Adjunct to Pelvic Floor Muscle Training for Urinary Incontinence: A Case Report

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Abstract

Background:

A noninvasive treatment of urinary incontinence (UI) is surface electromyography (sEMG) biofeedback with pelvic floor muscle (PFM) training. A lack of consensus and evidence exists on the quality-of-life (QOL) outcomes following sEMG biofeedback using surface electrodes at the perineum compared with the more invasive intravaginal probe. This case report examines QOL using sEMG biofeedback at the perineum with PFM training for UI.

Study Design:

Single-subject case report.

Case Description:

The patient was a 61-year-old woman with a diagnosis of UI. Her chief complaints were nocturia, urine leakage with urgency, and urine leakage with sneezing and coughing. Physical therapy (PT) focused on behavioral modification, PFM strengthening with and without sEMG biofeedback, and therapeutic exercises with PFM contractions.

Outcomes:

At 4 weeks from baseline, the patient's PFM strength increased from 2/5 to 4/5, based on the Modified Laycock Scale. Her PFM endurance contraction improved from 2 to 10 seconds. The International Continence Impact Questionnaire–Urinary Incontinence Short Form score decreased from 6 to 0, the Incontinence Impact Questionnaire–Short Form score decreased from 14.3 to 0, and the 3 Incontinence Questions responses did not change.

Discussion:

The outcomes from this case report present a brief course of PT consisting of perineal sEMG biofeedback in conjunction with PFM training that demonstrated clinically meaningful improvements in incontinence-related QOL, in addition to improvements in motor function in a woman with mixed UI and nocturia.

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