Benefits, Harms, and Costs
- 1.Electronic and mobile health interventions for urinary incontinence are growing, both in their availability in the health care market and in the science to support their use (moderate).
- 2.Electronic health interventions offered in conjunction with pelvic floor muscle training, either self-directed or directed by a health care provider (physiotherapist), may provide a marginal benefit in symptom improvement for stress urinary incontinence among women (low).
- 3.Application- and web-based programming for urinary incontinence should include traditional components of self-management programs, including motivational strategies to support behavioural interventions (high).
- 4.Bladder diaries are the most studied electronic health tool for overactive bladder and urge urinary incontinence. The acceptability and feasibility of these mobile health solutions has been established (low).
- 5.There is limited research on how electronic health interventions improve urge urinary incontinence and overactive bladder (low).
- 6.Telehealth can be an effective platform for patient education and counselling on conservative and surgical management of uncomplicated stress urinary incontinence (high).
- 1.Mobile health solutions, such as applications that incorporate evidence-based, motivational, behavioural intervention principles, should be recommended to women with stress urinary incontinence if tailored in-person care is not available or accessible (strong, high).
- 2.There is currently insufficient evidence to recommend the routine use of electronic health interventions that include a physical device to improve stress urinary incontinence symptoms (conditional, very low).
- 3.Electronic health interventions may be recommended to complement stress urinary incontinence treatment, but providers should familiarize themselves with the specific interventions recommended, since they vary significantly in terms of composition, cost, and benefit (conditional, very low).
- 4.Health care providers remain the key knowledge translators and advisors on overactive bladder and urge urinary incontinence; they should not assume that patients will get the information they need from a website (strong, moderate).
- 5.Health care providers may recommend web-based self-management programs that incorporate evidence-based motivational behavioural intervention principles if tailored in-person care is not available or accessible to patients (strong, low).
- 6.Application-based bladder diaries may be used as an alternative to traditional bladder diaries as a self-monitoring tool (conditional, low).
- 7.Follow-up visits for uncomplicated stress urinary incontinence may be considered in women who are comfortable with this platform (strong, low).
- 8.Although there is insufficient evidence to recommend virtual or telehealth consultation for routine pessary care instructions, these platforms can be considered on a case-by-case basis depending on the patient’s comfort with pessary self-care (conditional, very low).
- 9.Surgical counselling for stress urinary incontinence via telehealth or virtual platforms may be considered for women who are comfortable with shared decision-making on these platforms (strong, moderate).
- 10.Post-operative virtual visits may be offered as an alternative to in-person visits after uncomplicated surgery for stress urinary incontinence (strong, moderate).
Abbreviations:eHealth (electronic health), ICIQ-LUTSqol (International Consultation on Incontinence Questionnaire Lower Urinary Tract Symptoms Quality of Life module), ICIQ-UI SF (International Consultation on Incontinence Questionnaire – Urinary Incontinence Short Form), mHealth (mobile health), OAB (overactive bladder), PFDI (Pelvic Floor Distress Inventory), PFMT (pelvic floor muscle training), SUI (stress urinary incontinence), UI (urinary incontinence), UUI (urge urinary incontinence)
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This document reflects emerging clinical and scientific advances as of the publication date and is subject to change. The information is not meant to dictate an exclusive course of treatment or procedure. Institutions are free to amend the recommendations. The SOGC suggests, however, that they adequately document any such amendments.
Informed consent: Patients have the right and responsibility to make informed decisions about their care, in partnership with their health care provider. In order to facilitate informed choice, patients should be provided with information and support that is evidence-based, culturally appropriate, and personalized. The values, beliefs, and individual needs of each patient in the context of their personal circumstances should be considered and the final decision about care and treatment options chosen by the patient should be respected.
Language and inclusivity: The SOGC recognizes the importance to be fully inclusive and when context is appropriate, gender-neutral language will be used. In other circumstances, we continue to use gendered language because of our mission to advance women’s health. The SOGC recognizes and respects the rights of all people for whom the information in this document may apply, including but not limited to transgender, non-binary, and intersex people. The SOGC encourages health care providers to engage in respectful conversation with their patients about their gender identity and preferred gender pronouns and to apply these guidelines in a way that is sensitive to each person’s needs.