Functional pelvic floor muscle training before radical prostatectomy: A pilot study

Ms Alesha Sayner1,2, Dr Irmina Nahon2, Ms Sarah Davies1, Dr Kimberley Haines1, Dr Emily Karahalios3, Ms Cindy Ogluszko1

1Western Health, Sunshine, Australia, 2University of Canberra, Canberra, Australia, 3University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia


To determine the feasibility of a study protocol comparing two modes of pre-operative Pelvic Floor Muscle Training (PFMT).

Western Health patients undergoing Radical Prostatectomy (RP) were included. Pre-operatively, participants were randomised to: Functional PFMT consisting of six functional activities with a pelvic floor muscle pre-contraction; or the standard care PFMT group, consisting of sustained static contractions. Post-operative Urinary Incontinence (UI) was measured using a three-day pad weight measure and the International Consultation on Incontinence Urinary Incontinence Short Form (ICIQ-UISF). Feasibility outcomes included recruitment and retention rates, outcome measure completion and program adherence.

Thirty participants were recruited within eighteen months. Sixteen men declined participation and fourteen Non- English-Speaking-Background (NESB) men were excluded. Twenty participants have completed the study. Program adherence was greater than 90%.  Over 90% of outcome measures were completed at 4 and 12 weeks post surgery and 80% of expected 26 week measures have been returned. Completion of data collection is anticipated by January 2019.

Significance of the findings to allied health:
This study explores a novel area of pre-operative PFMT. It identifies issues around intervention application. Feasibility may be enhanced by multi-linguistic validation of the pad weight measure to enable inclusion of people from NESB and multi-site recruitment. The protocol appears to be feasible based on single site recruitment and data collection. Assessment of prostate cancer patient needs and preferences would compliment these findings to facilitate multi-site inclusivity and wider protocol adaptability.


Alesha is an APA titled Women’s and Men’s Pelvic Health Physiotherapist working between Western Health and the Australian Prostate Centre. She is completing her PhD in the area of patient experience with prostate cancer and physiotherapy. She is currently in a project management role involving the implementation of a prehabilitation program for prostate cancer patients using experience based co-design methodology. She feels extremely privileged to work with the population of men with prostate cancer.