Efficacy of biofeedback, repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation and pelvic floor muscle training for female neurogenic bladder dysfunction after spinal cord injury: a study protocol for a randomised controlled trial.

Neurogenic bladder dysfunction is prevalent in female patients with spinal cord injury (SCI), and previous guidelines have recommended pelvic floor muscle training (PFMT) for first-line conservative treatment. However, the actual regimen of PFMT varies widely and the single treatment does not satisfy the need of some patients. Therefore, this study aims to provide a detailed rationale and methodology for comparing the effectiveness of PFMT, biofeedback and repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) as adjunct treatments for neurogenic bladder dysfunction.

This trial is a single-centre randomised controlled trial for female patients with urinary incontinence (UI) in phase of chronic SCI. Eligible participants will be randomised to one of four arms: (1) PFMT, (2) PFMT with biofeedback, (3) PFMT and rTMS and (4) PFMT with biofeedback and rTMS. There will be 44 participants in each arm and all the subjects will undergo 20 treatment sessions, five times a week for 4 weeks. The outcomes will be evaluated at 4 weeks, 3 months and 6 months after randomisation. The primary outcome is the International Consultation on Incontinence Questionnaire-Urinary Incontinence Short Form, and the secondary outcomes include bladder diary, pelvic floor muscle function and the International Spinal Cord Injury Quality of Life Basic Data Set.

The Clinical Research and Biomedical Ethics Committee of the West China Hospital, Sichuan University has approved this trial and the approval number is 2019-885. All participants will be provided written informed consent after verification of the eligibility criteria. The results of this study will be accessible in peer-reviewed publications and be presented at academic conferences.

Chinese Clinical Trial Registry (ChiCTR1900026126).

BMJ open. 2020 Aug 05*** epublish ***

Lin Xu, Chenying Fu, Qing Zhang, Feng Xiong, Lihong Peng, Zejun Liang, Li Chen, Chengqi He, Quan Wei

Department of Rehabilitation Medicine Center, West China Hospital, Sichuan University, Chengdu, Sichuan, PR China., State Key Laboratory of Biotherapy, West China Hospital, Sichuan University, Chengdu, Sichuan, PR China., Department of Rehabilitation Medicine Center, West China Hospital, Sichuan University, Chengdu, Sichuan, PR China .