A comparison of a step-initiation task in women with and without urinary incontinence. A case-control study

The aim of the study was to objectively determine differences in postural response by women with and without urinary incontinence during a step-initiation task depending on the degree of bladder filling.

The study comprised 22 women with stress urinary incontinence and 20 women without urinary incontinence. All women participated in four trials: unperturbed and perturbed (obstacle crossing) transition between platforms, step-up and step-down trials. Velocities of center of pressure displacement, double-support period, time from exit from steady standing until the lead foot resting on the other platform and time from raising the foot from the first platform until gaining quiet standing on the other platform were measured and compared.

No significant differences were noted between the performance of a step-initiation task by incontinent women with full/empty bladder whereas continent women performed differently during unperturbed transition with full/empty bladder. The step-up trial revealed significant intergroup differences. The antero-posterior mean velocity of center of pressure during the empty bladder test was significantly higher in women with stress urinary incontinence (effect size = 1.02). During the same bladder condition the women with stress urinary incontinence performed significantly more slowly in unperturbed (effect size = 1.09) and perturbed (effect size = 0.84) transition compared to control group.

Our results indicate that women with incontinence performed the step initiation task slowly on the empty bladder tests compare to continent women.

Neurourology and urodynamics. 2018 Aug 28 [Epub ahead of print]

Daria Chmielewska, Grzegorz Sobota Sobota, Magdalena Stania, Edward Błaszczak, Kajetan Słomka, Grzegorz Juras

Faculty of Physiotherapy, Department of Physiotherapy Basics, Jerzy Kukuczka Academy of Physical Education, Katowice, Poland., Department of Human Motor Behaviour, Jerzy Kukuczka Academy of Physical Education, Katowice, Poland., Faculty of Medical Biophysics, Department of Medical Biophysics, Medical University of Silesia, Katowice, Poland.

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