Posted on Sep 28, 2016, 6 a.m.
Incontinence while coughing and jumping is common in women. Self-administered treatment, via a mobile app, reduced number of leakages and improved quality of life.
A research project named eContinence,Tät.nu in Swedish, that was published in Neurology and Urodynamics, has the aim of developing, evaluating, and implementing treatment programs for urinary incontinence by way of the Internet, PC tablets, and smartphone applications. The app gives free information on incontinence statistics, pelvic floor exercises, lifestyle advice, reminders, and more.
Conducted by researchers at the Unit for Family Medicine at Umea University in Sweden, the app was evaluated in a study of 123 women from all over that country. Randomly chosen participants were either given treatment for three months using the app, or were in a control group that was without treatment. The self-reported results showed that the app improved the quality of life, symptoms, the use of incontinence pads, and led to fewer leakages. The number of leakages was reduced from three times a day to once a day in the group that had used the app.
Urinary leakage, especially when jumping or coughing, is, unfortunately, too common an inconvenience for women and can severely affect the quality of their lives. Being twice as prevalent among women than among men, it is estimated that approximately one-fourth of women have incontinence to some degree. The results of this evaluation show that the basic treatment which is based on pelvic floor exercises often proves to be efficient. However, many women never seek help in spite of the fact that the treatment is simple and efficient.
By offering treatment via this app, it is hoped that more women will discover and gain access to the efficient treatment of pelvic floor muscle training for stress urinary incontinence and bladder training for urgency urinary incontinence. Eva Samuelsson, associate professor at the Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine and the one in charge of the project, is very enthused about the results. She stated that being able to use a mobile app showing a self-administered treatment can be efficient as a first-line treatment for stress urinary incontinence. Exercises that are self-managed appear to be an appreciated treatment, and that is why the app has been made available free of charge, for the use of everyone who needs it.
Ina Asklund, Emma Nyström, Malin Sjöström, Göran Umefjord, Hans Stenlund, Eva Samuelsson. Mobile app for treatment of stress urinary incontinence: A randomized controlled trial. Neurourology and Urodynamics, 2016; DOI: 10.1002/nau.23116