Assessing prevalence of urinary incontinence in Scottish fitness instructors and experience of teaching pelvic floor muscle exercises: an online survey

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Abstract

Background
The aim of this study was to assess the prevalence of urinary incontinence in fitness instructors, experience of teaching pelvic floor muscle exercises (PFME), and attitudes to incorporating such exercises into classes.

Method
An online survey was undertaken of fitness instructors working in Scotland based on the Urinary Incontinence Short Form (ICIQ-UI).

Results
The survey was at least partially completed by 106, of whom 73.6% (53/72) were female and 52.8% (38/72) were in the 35–54 years age group. Prevalence of UI was 28.2% (24/85), and severity based on ICIQ-UI scores was ‘slight’ 65.2% (15/23), or ‘moderate’ in 26.1% (6/23). Leakage of urine was associated with physical activity in 36% (9/25), of whom 31.8% (7/22) had not taken actions to reduce the impact, and 86.4% (19/22) had not sought professional advice or treatment. There was widespread willingness to incorporate PFME into classes if given appropriate training 86.1% (62/72), and 67.1% (49/73) would be happy to recommend a PFME app.

Conclusion
A significant proportion of fitness instructors are in need of PFME and those who perform PFME do so at a level below that which is recommended. However, many have had some training on PFME or are willing to provide this.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Public Health
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2018

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