Prevalence, impact and specialised treatment of urinary incontinence in women with chronic lung disease

To determine in women with clinically stable chronic lung disease (CLD) and healthy women; (1) prevalence of urinary incontinence; (2) risk factors for urinary incontinence; (3) effects of a standard course of specialised physiotherapy treatment (PT) in women with CLD.

Prospective prevalence study; PT study in CLD subgroup.

Tertiary metropolitan public hospital.

Women with cystic fibrosis (CF, n=38), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD, n=27) and 69 healthy women without CLD. PT study - 10 women with CLD.

Five continence PT sessions over 3 months.

Prevalence and impact of incontinence (questionnaire), number of leakage episodes (7-day accident diary), pelvic floor muscle function (ultrasound imaging) and quality of life (King's Health Questionnaire).

The majority of women in all three groups reported episodes of incontinence (CF 71%; COPD 70%; healthy women 55%). Compared to age-matched healthy controls, women with CF reported more episodes of incontinence (P=0.006) and more commonly reported stress incontinence (P=0.001). A logistic regression model revealed that women with CLD were twice as likely to develop incontinence than healthy women (P=0.05). Women with COPD reported significantly more 'bother' with incontinence than age-matched women with incontinence. There was a significant reduction in incontinence episodes following treatment, which was maintained after three months.

The presence of CLD is an independent predictor of incontinence in women. In older women this is associated with more distress than in age-matched peers without CLD. Larger treatment studies are indicated for women with CLD and incontinence.

Physiotherapy. 2018 Jul 30 [Epub ahead of print]

B M Button, A E Holland, M S Sherburn, J Chase, J W Wilson, A T Burge

Physiotherapy Department, The Alfred Hospital, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia; Respiratory Medicine Department, The Alfred Hospital, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia; Department of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia. Electronic address: ., Physiotherapy Department, The Alfred Hospital, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia; La Trobe/Alfred Health Clinical School, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia; Institute for Breathing and Sleep, Bowen Centre, Austin Hospital, Heidelberg, Victoria, Australia., Physiotherapy Department, Melbourne School of Health Sciences, The University of Melbourne, Carlton, Victoria, Australia., Respiratory Medicine Department, The Alfred Hospital, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia; Department of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia.

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