ByMaarten F. A. Dicker, Kaisa E. Raatikainen, Joan F. Alonso, Diana Tăut, Olavi Airaksinen, Linda D. Cardozo, Jan-Paul W. R. Roovers, on behalf of the WOMEN-UP consortium.
Urinary incontinence is a common condition in women, with a reported prevalence ranging from 25% to 51%. Of these women, an estimated 38% suffer from stress urinary incontinence (SUI). A European research consortium is investigating an innovative system based on information and communication technology for the conservative treatment of women with SUI. When introducing a new intervention, implementation barriers arise and need to be identified. Therefore, we investigated healthcare providers’ experience with and attitude towards innovative care options.
We performed an online survey to assess (1) the characteristics and practice of healthcare providers, (2) current protocols for SUI, (3) current use of biofeedback, and (4) knowledge about serious gaming. The survey was sent to members of professional societies in Europe (EUGA), UK (BSUG) and The Netherlands (DPFS).
Of 341 questionnaires analyzed (response rate between 18% and 30%), 64% of the respondents had access to a protocol for the treatment of SUI, and 31% used biofeedback when treating patients with SUI. However, 92% considered that biofeedback has a clear or probable added value, and 97% of those who did not use biofeedback would change their practice if research evidence supported its use. Finally, 89% of respondents indicated that they had no experience of serious gaming, but 92% considered that it could be useful.
Although inexperienced, European urogynecologists and physical therapists welcome innovative treatment options for the conservative treatment of SUI such as portable wireless biofeedback and serious gaming. Scientific evidence is considered a prerequisite to incorporate such innovations into clinical practice.
Kastelein, A.W., Dicker, M.F.A., Opmeer, B.C. et al. (2017). Innovative treatment modalities for urinary incontinence: a European survey identifying experience and attitude of healthcare providers. Int Urogynecol J . doi:10.1007/s00192-017-3339-y