Behavioral Training for Urinary Incontinence in Elderly Ambulatory Patients

John R. Burton, K. Lynette Pearce, Kathryn L. Burgio, Bernard T. Engel, William E. Whitehead

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Scopus citations


Research questions addressed by this study were: 1) Is the treatment of chronic urinary incontinence (UI) in elderly, nondemented ambulatory patients using bladder‐sphincter biofeedback as effective when performed by an internist/geriatrician and a nurse practitioner as that reported by behavioral scientists?; and 2) how does bladder‐sphincter biofeedback compare to a program of behavioral training that does not utilize biofeedback? Twenty‐seven patients with ill were assigned based on the number of baseline accidents documented in a self‐maintained log, their sex, and the predominant pattern of symptoms (urge or stress) to one of two treatment groups: biofeedback (13 patients) or behavioral training not utilizing biofeedback (14 patients). Patients were given up to six treatments. Patients in both groups achieved a highly significant (P < .001) reduction in urinary accidents 1 month following treatments compared with their baseline number of accidents. The average reduction of accidents over this time period was 79% for the biofeedback group and 82% for the group receiving behavioral training without biofeedback. All patients showed improvement and no patient experienced any side effect. A internist /geriatrician and a geriatric nurse practitioner may achieve success utilizing behavioral therapy with or without biofeedback for the treatment of chronic urinary incontinence for ambulatory elderly patients. 1988 The American Geriatrics Society

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)693-698
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of the American Geriatrics Society
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1988

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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