OBJECTIVE: The objective of this study was to investigate the effects of two programs for strengthening the pelvic floor on the urinary incontinence of patients with multiple sclerosis (MS).
DESIGN: This is a prospective study of the clinical trial type, monitored for 6 mos, in which 24 women in the moderate stage of MS participated in a program of exercises for strengthening the pelvic floor-associated (experimental group) or not (control group) with electrotherapy. The variables analyzed were as follows: quality-of-life, overactivity of the bladder, perineal contraction, and level of anxiety and depression. The statistical procedures involved multivariate analyses of repeated measurements, with a significance of 5%.
RESULTS: Initial homogeneity being observed in the anthropometric and clinical variables, both protocols resulted in improvements in quality-of-life (P = 0.001), overactive bladder (P = 0.001), perineal contraction (P = 0.004), and level of anxiety (P = 0.001) and depression (P = 0.001), in relation to the initial comparison. The association of electrotherapy with strengthening exercises increased the improvement of the patients regarding overactive bladder (P = 0.039) and perineal contraction (P = 0.001), in comparison with the control group.
CONCLUSIONS: The results reinforce the benefit of exercises for strengthening the musculature of the pelvic floor in women with overactive bladder in MS and demonstrate a potential of the action when associated with electrotherapy.