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Pelvic Floor Muscle Training
Can primary care nurse administered pelvic floor muscle training (PFMT) be implemented for the prevention and treatment of urinary incontinence?
The World Health Organisation estimates that one third of women are affected by urinary incontinence (UI) after childbirth. UI affects both sexes, but tends to be more prevalent in females than in males. The NHS estimates that one in five women aged over 40 and 24% of people over 65 are affected by UI.
The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) recommend three months of Pelvic Floor Muscle Training (PFMT) as the first line of treatment for stress incontinence (UI caused by exertion or sneezing/ coughing). NICE recommends that PFMT is carried out in primary care. However, there are currently insufficient levels of staff trained to provide PFMT for all women with UI. Work carried out locally has shown that primary-care nurses, trained using a short course, can deliver similar outcomes to those of specialist nurses. If this package is offered routinely, it could improve incontinence and quality of life, with fewer referrals to specialist care.
Our aim is to ensure that the majority of women with UI have access to PFMT at an early stage to prevent the problem becoming worse, as well as a form of primary prevention (preventing UI in the first place) and as a form of treatment.