Pelvic floor muscle activation in stress urinary incontinent women: Impact of a distraction task.

Our purpose was to explore the involvement of cognition in voluntary and involuntary pelvic floor muscle (PFM) contraction in stress urinary incontinent women.

PFM contraction monitored by surface electromyography (EMG) was measured without a mental distraction task (DT), and with a DT called "paced auditory serial additional test" (PASAT). Forty stress incontinent women performed voluntary contractions of the external anal sphincter (EAS), and reflex EAS contractions induced by means of coughing were studied using the external intercostal muscle (EIC) EMG pattern.

A DT altered PFM pre-activation when coughing: the reaction time between EIC muscle contraction and EAS contraction (called RT3) was respectively -54.94 ms (IQR -87.12; 3.12) without the PASAT and -3.99 ms (IQR: -47.92; 18.69) with a DT (P = 0.02, Wilcoxon's test). Concerning voluntary contraction, women activated their PFM sooner without than with a DT.

The PASAT altered voluntary and reflex contractions of the PFM in stress urinary incontinent women. Our study suggests that cognition plays a role in urinary pathophysiology. Future studies should investigate rehabilitation programs that consider the role of cognition in stress urinary incontinent women.

Neurourology and urodynamics. 2019 Feb 19 [Epub ahead of print]

Pauline Dewaele, Xavier Deffieux, Anne Villot, Gérard Amarenco, Sylvie Billecocq, Thibault Thubert

GRC-UPMC 01, GREEN (Group of Clinical Research in Neuro-Urology, University Pierre and Marie Curie), Paris, France.

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