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Cognitive Therapy Treatment for Urge Urinary Incontinence

Posted May 12 2009 3:22pm

Last week was marked by the American Urological Association’s Annual Meeting, the meeting was held in Chicago and a series of studies to treat incontinence and bladder conditions were presented and one in particular was under the spotlight.

A clinical trial using cognitive therapy to help patients manage overactive bladder, the study was conducted by the Loyola University Health System. Cognitive therapy employs deep-breathing and guided-imagery exercises that train the brain to control the bladder without medication or surgery.

Study investigator Aaron Michelfelder, MD, vice chair, division of family medicine, Loyola University Health System, and associate professor, department of family medicine, Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine, stated:

“The mind-body connection has proven to be particularly valuable for women suffering from incontinence, Cognitive therapy is effective with these women, because they are motivated to make a change and regain control over their body.”

Patients were introduced to cognitive therapy in their first consultation, then they took home a CD with a series of relaxation and visualization exercises to listen at home twice a day for two weeks, patients then registered the numbers of incontinence episodes pre and post therapy.

The Study evaluated 10 patients with a mean age of 62, all patients had to be diagnosed with overactive bladder and also had to be stable on all OAB treatments for the past three months, the data revealed that the numbers of urge incontinence episodes per week decreased from 38 to 12.

Another study investigator, Mary Pat FitzGerald, MD, urogynecologist, and associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology, Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine, concluded:

“Cognitive therapy may play a vital role in a comprehensive approach to treating this disorder.”

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