Behavioral treatment options for urinary incontinence.

Academic Article


  • Behavioral treatments improve bladder control by changing the incontinent patient's behavior, especially his or her voiding habits, and by teaching skills for preventing urine loss. These treatments are effective for most outpatient men and women with stress, urge, or mixed incontinence. The average reduction in the frequency of incontinence ranges from 57% to 86%. In long-term care settings, treatment is generally more challenging and yields more modest results. The advantages of behavioral interventions include the absence of side-effects, patient comfort, and high levels of patient satisfaction. Although most patients who receive behavioral treatment achieve significant improvement, most are not completely dry. Thus, there is a need for research to explore ways to enhance the effectiveness of these conservative therapies. Combining behavioral treatment with other treatments may have additive effects. Research is also needed to understand better the mechanisms of therapeutic change, the best methods for teaching pelvic floor muscle control, the optimal exercise regimens, the predictors of outcome, and the efficacy of behavioral treatments in men. Although behavioral interventions are more accepted today than 20 years ago, they are still not widely available or integrated into most clinical practices, and we know little of how effective they will be in these settings. Thus, it will be important to develop and evaluate creative modes of delivery, such as group intervention (especially by nonphysician providers), in a variety of clinical settings.
  • Published In

  • Gastroenterology  Journal
  • Keywords

  • Behavior Therapy, Humans, Urinary Incontinence
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Pubmed Id

  • 12634666
  • Author List

  • Burgio KL
  • Start Page

  • S82
  • End Page

  • S89
  • Volume

  • 126
  • Issue

  • 1 Suppl 1