Perioperative Behavioral Therapy and Pelvic Muscle Strengthening Do Not Enhance Quality of Life After Pelvic Surgery: Secondary Report of a Randomized Controlled Trial.

Academic Article


  • Background: There is significant need for trials evaluating the long-term effectiveness of a rigorous program of perioperative behavioral therapy with pelvic floor muscle training (BPMT) in women undergoing transvaginal reconstructive surgery for prolapse. Objective: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of perioperative BPMT on health-related quality of life (HRQOL) and sexual function following vaginal surgery for pelvic organ prolapse (POP) and stress urinary incontinence (SUI). Design: This study is a secondary report of a 2 × 2 factorial randomized controlled trial. Setting: This study was a multicenter trial. Participants: Participants were adult women with stage 2-4 POP and SUI. Intervention: Perioperative BPMT versus usual care and sacrospinous ligament fixation (SSLF) versus uterosacral ligament suspension (ULS) were provided. Measurements: Participants undergoing transvaginal surgery (SSLF or ULS for POP and a midurethral sling for SUI) received usual care or five perioperative BPMT visits. The primary outcome was change in body image and in Pelvic Floor Impact Questionnaire (PFIQ) short-form subscale, 36-item Short-Form Health Survey (SF-36), Pelvic Organ Prolapse-Urinary Incontinence Sexual Questionnaire short form (PISQ-12), Patient Global Impression of Improvement (PGII), and Brink scores. Results: The 374 participants were randomized to BPMT (n = 186) and usual care (n = 188). Outcomes were available for 137 (74%) of BPMT participants and 146 (78%) of the usual care participants at 24 months. There were no statistically significant differences between groups in PFIQ, SF-36, PGII, PISQ-12, or body image scale measures. Limitations: The clinicians providing BPMT had variable expertise. Findings might not apply to vaginal prolapse procedures without slings or abdominal apical prolapse procedures. Conclusions: Perioperative BPMT performed as an adjunct to vaginal surgery for POP and SUI provided no additional improvement in QOL or sexual function compared with usual care.
  • Published In

  • Physical Therapy  Journal
  • Keywords

  • Behavior Therapy, Body Image, Female, Humans, Middle Aged, Pelvic Organ Prolapse, Perioperative Care, Quality of Life, Resistance Training, Sexual Behavior, Suburethral Slings, Surveys and Questionnaires, Treatment Outcome
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Weidner AC; Barber MD; Markland A; Rahn DD; Hsu Y; Mueller ER; Jakus-Waldman S; Dyer KY; Warren LK; Gantz MG
  • Start Page

  • 1075
  • End Page

  • 1083
  • Volume

  • 97
  • Issue

  • 11