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Doing Kegels properly does improve continence faster and better

Posted Sep 29 2008 4:46pm

A Norwegian group has now clearly shown that correct  training of pelvic floor muscles post-surgery, with regular instruction and guidance from a physiotherapist, does improve urinary continence over a 1-year period post surgery compared to simply training on one’s own after initial instruction. 

They carried out a randomized, controlled trial between September 2005 and December 2007. All men with clinically localized prostate cancer who underwent surgery with open radical prostatectomy were invited to participate until 85 participants were included.

The patients were divided into two intervention groups (A and B). Both groups received instruction in correct pelvic floor muscle contraction and were encouraged to train the pelvic floor muscles. Group A was offered additional follow-up training instructions by a physiotherapist throughout the 1-year period.

The primary outcome was continence status (with complete continence meaning 0 pads); secondary outcomes were perceived problems with urinary function. Patients were assessed at 6 weeks and at 3, 6, and 12 months postoperatively. Five patients (6 percent) dropped out of the study.

No difference in continence status between groups was noted at 3 months (46 percent were continent in group A versus 43 percent in group B). In group A, 97 percent reported no or only mild problems with urinary function compared to 78 percent in group B. However, after 6 months there was a clinically relevant difference in continence status between the groups: 79 percent were continent in group A and 58 percent percent in group B. Twelve months post-surgery the difference was clinically and statistically significant in favour of group A: 92 percent were continent in group A and 72 percent in group B.

Filed under: Living with Prostate Cancer, Management, Treatment

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