School of Nursing and Midwifery
Introduction: Pelvic floor exercises are effective in the treatment of urinary incontinence (UI) and are routinely prescribed, along with bladder training, by primary healthcare providers as first line conservative management. Mobile phone applications are increasingly popular within the healthcare setting and can provide opportunities for patients to complete treatments at home. To date, there has not been a systematic review examining outcomes from randomised controlled trials on the effectiveness of mobile applications to improve UI. Methods: A systematic review of randomized controlled trials evaluating the effectiveness of mobile applications to improve UI was carried out according to the PRISMA reporting guidelines. The online databases MEDLINE, Embase, PsychINFO, CINAHL, Web of Science, Scopus, The Cochrane Library, Joanna Briggs Institute (JBI), Google Scholar were searched for papers published between 2007 to 2020. Keywords and MeSH terms were used to identify relevant English language studies. The quality and risk of bias within included studies was assessed by two independent reviewers, RCT JBI critical appraisal tool. Due to heterogeneity in the outcome of studies, a meta-analysis of the data could not be conducted. Findings: Four studies reported an improvement in the outcome assessed post-intervention, suggesting that using mobile phone applications for pelvic floor muscle training (PFMT) was an acceptable and valid intervention to improve UI. Conclusion: Mobile applications for PFMT indicated that increase adherence to treatment and decrease UI. The integration of this treatment modality into current practice is recommended. Mobile phone applications for PFMT show promise in the conservative management of UI. Further research is required to support the use of this technology in the conservative management of UI.
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