To develop and pilot test an interactive mobile telehealth program (mHealth) for behavioral treatment of women veterans with urinary incontinence (UI).
We developed an evidence-based 8-week behavioral mHealth program, MyHealtheBladder, with input from women veterans, behavioral medicine and health education experts, and clinical providers treating UI in the VA system. The program was story-based and included pelvic floor muscle exercises, bladder control strategies, fluid management, risk factor reduction, and self-monitoring. Participants were women veterans seeking outpatient treatment for UI occurring at least twice weekly. The primary efficacy estimate was the change in UI frequency, volume and impact on the quality of life as measured by the validated International Consultation on Incontinence Questionnaire-Short Form (ICIQ-SF; range: 0-21, 2.5 points for minimal clinically important difference [MCID]).
We enrolled 29 women veterans (ages 29-77 years; mean = 54.4 ± 10.4), including 15 (52%) African-American women, 13 (45%) women with high school education, and 16 (55%) with a college degree. Twenty of 29 women (69%) completed all 8 weeks of the intervention with a 97% adherence rate to the daily sessions among completers. We found reductions in ICIQ-SF scores from a mean 12.6 ± 3.9 at baseline to 10.4 ± 4.11 at 5 weeks, to 8.7 ± 4.0 at the end of the 8-week intervention.
Women veterans using an 8-week behavioral mHealth program for the treatment of UI had symptom improvements that exceeded the MCID for the ICIQ-SF. Our next step involves comparing the effectiveness of MyHealtheBladder to usual care in a larger clinical trial.
Neurourology and urodynamics. 2019 Nov 27 [Epub ahead of print]
Patricia S Goode, Alayne D Markland, Katharina V Echt, Laurie Slay, Susan Barnacastle, Galen Hale, M Kate Wright, T Renea Lane, Kathryn L Burgio
Department of Veterans Affairs, Birmingham/Atlanta Geriatric Research, Education, and Clinical Center (GRECC), Birmingham, Alabama.