Analysis of physical therapy intervention outcomes for urinary incontinence in women older than 65 years in outpatient clinical settings
Background: Conservative interventions provided by physical therapists for the treatment of bladder control problems in adult females are strongly supported in the literature and in clinical practice guidelines. However, physical therapy (PT) intervention outcomes specifically for women older than 65 years with urinary incontinence (UI) in outpatient settings in the United States have not been extensively reported. Objectives: To provide preliminary PT intervention outcome data specific to female patients older than 65 years receiving outpatient PT for UI. Design: Preliminary retrospective analysis of a convenience sample of women 65 to 93 years of age. Methods: Women older than 65 years with UI who were referred to outpatient PT and answered "yes" to a UI screening question at intake completed 3 UI surveys (3 Incontinence Questions [3IQ], Incontinence Impact Questionnaire Short-Form [IIQ-7] and the International Consultation on Incontinence Modular Questionnaire-Urinary Incontinence [ICIQ-UI]). Patients received individualized treatment provided by a physical therapist. Physical therapists were asked to administer the surveys again during and/or after treatment. Demographic, clinical, and health-related quality of life data were collected. Frequency of UI types, UI symptoms, and impact of quality of life were analyzed. Paired samples t test was used to evaluate the change in measures between the initial survey and a follow-up survey. Results: Surveys were collected from 62 women. Significant changes in scores on 2 outcome measures (ICIQ-UI and IIQ-7) indicated significant reductions in UI symptom severity and improvements in UI-related health-related quality of life after undergoing individualized PT treatment of UI. Limitations: The study population was a convenience sample. Data on treatment interventions were not collected. Conclusions: Individualized interventions provided by physical therapists have the potential to significantly improve symptom severity and health-related quality of life in women older than 65 years with different types of UI.