Group Yoga Therapy Effective for Incontinence

This article originally appeared here.
Greater reduction seen in total incontinence frequency for yoga versus wait-list control.
Greater reduction seen in total incontinence frequency for yoga versus wait-list control.

For women with incontinence, group-based yoga therapy is feasible and effective, according to a study published in Female Pelvic Medicine & Reconstructive Surgery.

Alison J. Huang, M.D., from the University of California in San Francisco, and colleagues examined the feasibility, efficacy, and safety of a group-based yoga therapy intervention for women (mean age, 61.4 years) with stress, urgency, or mixed-type incontinence.

Ten women were randomly assigned to a six-week yoga therapy program consisting of twice-weekly group classes and once-weekly home practice and nine were randomized to wait-list control. Participants also received written pamphlets about standard behavioral self-management strategies. Seven-day voiding diaries were used to assess the changes in incontinence.

The researchers found that the total incontinence frequency decreased by 66 percent in the yoga therapy group, compared with a 13 percent decrease in the control group (P = 0.049). The frequency of stress incontinence decreased by an average of 85 percent in the yoga therapy group, compared with a 25 percent increase in controls (P = 0.039).

There were no significant between-group differences in the reduction in urgency incontinence (P = 0.20). All yoga group participants completed at least 90 percent of the group and practice sessions. In each group, two participants reported adverse events unrelated to the intervention.

"Findings provide preliminary evidence to support the feasibility, efficacy, and safety of a group-based yoga therapy intervention to improve urinary incontinence in women," the authors write.

One author disclosed financial ties to Pfizer.

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