Evaluation of a Mobile Application for Pelvic Floor Exercises

Pelvic floor exercises are effective in improving muscle strength and urinary incontinence symptoms. Increasingly popular mobile applications can be effective in teaching patients these exercises.

A mobile application, Bwom©, aims to educate women about pelvic floor exercises with individually tailored plans relevant to the user's risk factors. The objective of this study is to assess the understandability and actionability of Bwom.

This is a cross-sectional survey of patients and providers at an academic medical center. The survey utilized the Patient Education Material Assessment Tool (PEMAT) validated by the U.S. Department of Health Services, which provides scores on understandability and actionability. Participants completed an initial demographic survey, used Bwom for 2 weeks, and then completed the PEMAT tool.

Twenty five patients and 22 providers participated in the study, for a total of 47 participants. Providers included gynecology residents and faculty (91%), pelvic floor physical therapists (5%), and other healthcare professionals (5%). The majority of patients were age 31-40 (70%) and Caucasian (55%). Thirty nine percent had not yet tried pelvic floor exercises on their own before the study. The mean understandability score was 93.8% (±11.7) and the mean actionability score was 91.7% (±16.3).

This study paves the way for future investigations into the effectiveness of this app in decreasing symptoms of pelvic floor weakness and incontinence.

This study demonstrates that Bwom shows promise as a mobile application to educate women about pelvic floor exercises by providing user-friendly actions in an understandable way.

Telemedicine journal and e-health : the official journal of the American Telemedicine Association. 2018 May 24 [Epub ahead of print]

Michelle N Han, Tamara Grisales, Aparna Sridhar

Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology, David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California , Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California.