Feasibility of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) combined with pelvic floor muscle training (PFMT) in female urinary incontinence: randomized controlled trial





Urinary Incontinence, Exercise Therapy, Electrical Stimulation Therapy, Feasibility Studies


INTRODUCTION: Pelvic floor muscle training (PFMT) is widely regarded as the most conservative and effective non-pharmacological treatment option for women suffering from urinary incontinence (UI). Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) is a non-invasive, non-pharmacological neuromodulation technique that has demonstrated promising results in a variety of medical conditions. However, there has been little research into the feasibility of tDCS as an adjunct therapy to PFMT in improving symptoms in women with UI. OBJECTIVE: To explore the feasibility (recruitment and retention) of tDCS as an adjunct therapy to PFMT to relieve symptoms of female UI. METHODS AND MATERIALS: Eleven female patients were randomly assigned to receive 12 non-consecutive sessions of PFMT combined with 20 minutes (2mA) of anodal (Cz) or sham tDCS for 4 weeks. Feasibility (primary outcome) was assessed through recruitment and retention rates. Secondary outcomes included four domains: (1) urinary leakage, (2) severity of incontinence, (3) impact on quality of life, and (4) symptoms and adverse events. RESULTS: Eleven patients were evaluated, and nine women completed the treatment protocol. The recruitment rate was 100%, and retention was 81.8%. Clinical results showed that anodal tDCS is viable as adjunctive therapy to PFMT protocol and may result in minimal clinically important differences (MCID) in UI symptoms. CONCLUSION: The high rate of recruitment and retention indicates that tDCS in combination with PFMT is a feasible adjunct therapy for female UI treatment. This research supports the recommendation for a full RCT, with prioritization of outcomes required for hypothesis testing.


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Feasibility of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) combined with pelvic floor muscle training (PFMT) in female urinary incontinence: randomized controlled trial. (2024). Brain Imaging and Stimulation, 3, e5381. https://doi.org/10.17267/2965-3738bis.2024.e5381

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