Dance and virtual reality: A promising treatment for urinary incontinence in elderly women

Virtual reality, dance and fun are not the first things that come to mind when we think of treating urinary incontinence in senior women. However, these concepts were the foundations of a promising study by Dr. Chantal Dumoulin, PhD, Canada Research Chair in Urogynaecological Health and Aging, a researcher at the Institut universitaire de gériatrie de Montréal, and an associate professor in the Physiotherapy Program of the Rehabilitation School at Université de Montréal, and her master's student, Miss Valérie Elliott.

Dr Eling D. de Bruin, Ph.D., researcher at the department of Health Sciences and Technology, Swiss federal Institute of Technology, Zurich, Switzerland collaborated in this study for his expertise in the use of exergame in geriatric rehabilitation. The results of their feasibility study were published in Neurourology and Urodynamics.

For the study, the researchers added a series of dance exercises via a video game console to a physiotherapy program for pelvic floor muscles. What were the results for the 24 participants? A greater decrease in daily than for the usual program (improvement in effectiveness) as well as no dropouts from the program and a higher weekly participation rate (increase in compliance).

According to the researchers, fun is a recipe for success. "Compliance with the program is a key success factor: the more you practice, the more you strengthen your pelvic floor muscles. Our challenge was to motivate women to show up each week. We quickly learned that the dance component was the part that the women found most fun and didn't want to miss. The socialization aspect shouldn't be ignored either: they laughed a lot as they danced!" explained a delighted Chantal Dumoulin.

The dance period also served as a concrete way for women to apply exercises that are traditionally static. "Dancing gives women confidence, as they have to move their legs quickly to keep up with the choreography in the while controlling their urine. They now know they can contract their muscles when they perform any daily activity to prevent urine leakage. These exercises are therefore more functional."

Although a lot of research already employs different aspects of , this is the first time that it has been used to treat . This successful feasibility study opens the door to a randomized clinical trial.

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Genetic test for inherited kidney diseases developed

date 5 minutes ago

Many kidney disorders are difficult to diagnose. To address this problem, scientists and clinicians have developed a diagnostic test that identifies genetic changes linked to inherited kidney disorders. This ...

Diagnosing infectious diseases at the point-of-care

date 32 minutes ago

A major problem with current testing for infectious diseases in Africa is that it focuses on individual diseases and cannot reliably discriminate between them. Since most infectious diseases have the same ...

Fracture liaison services prevent fractures and save lives

date 57 minutes ago

Using a simulation model, Swedish researchers have shown that the implementation of Fracture Liaison Services (FLS) could considerably reduce the human and healthcare costs associated with osteoporotic fractures. The results ...

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.