Effects of increasing awareness of pelvic floor muscle (PFM) function on pelvic floor dysfunction (PFD).
Purpose To evaluate the pelvic floor health knowledge base and presence of pelvic floor dysfunction (PFD) in women working in an office environment, and whether this knowledge significantly increases following a pelvic floor health education session and a re-education session. To assess whether this knowledge-acquisition leads to significant decrease in PFD. Participants Female volunteers (N=161), ages 18-69 years, were randomly allocated to Groups A, B or C. Methods Online surveys were completed by all groups on three occasions and included validated tools (Prolapse and Incontinence Knowledge Quiz, Pelvic Floor Distress Inventory-20, Pelvic Floor Impact Questionnaire-7) plus sexual function and pelvic floor muscle (PFM) exercise items. On completion of the baseline survey, an education session was given to Groups A and B only (Group C represented the controls). Following this, all participants completed the second survey. Two months later, to allow time for efficacy for the PFM exercises, a re-education presentation was given to Group A only, followed by the final survey administered to all. Analysis Of the 161 volunteers, 16 failed to complete all study requirements, leaving 145 questionnaires (Groups A and B n=48, Group C n=49) available for analysis using ANOVA and Descriptive Analysis. Results The knowledge base of the participants receiving the education showed highly significant improvement compared to the control group, and again for those receiving the re-education session. Although only 14% stated that they had PFD, the surveys revealed that 96% of the participants had PFD. The groups receiving the PFM exercise education and strategies to encourage healthier bladder and bowel habits showed significant decrease in PFD symptoms and increase in QoL. Education was successful in producing highly significant increases in knowledge, importance and commitment toward PFM exercise. Conclusion This study is unique as it evaluated pelvic floor health knowledge and presence of PFD of presumably healthy women within an office setting in contrast to patients seeking PFD medical attention. While further research is required, it is clear that low pelvic floor health knowledge was associated with high prevalence of PFD. Further, as knowledge/awareness significantly increased following education, so did QoL, while PFD significantly decreased.
pelvic floor health, pelvic floor dysfunction, pelvic floor health knowledge, pelvic floor health education, pelvic floor health awareness, pelvic floor muscle dysfunction, bladder dysfunction, bladder incontinence, urinary incontinence, bowel dysfunction, bowel incontinence, sexual dysfunction, pelvic pain, pelvic organ prolapse