Long-term effects and costs of pelvic floor muscle training for prolapse: trial follow-up record-linkage study

Linda Fenocchi*, Catherine Best, Helen Mason, Andrew Elders, Suzanne Hagen, Margaret Maxwell

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
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Introduction and hypothesis: Pelvic organ prolapse affects around 40% of women aged over 50 years. A multicentre parallel group randomised trial (the Pelvic Organ Prolapse PhysiotherapY (POPPY) trial) demonstrated that pelvic floor muscle training (PFMT) was effective in reducing prolapse symptoms compared with no treatment. However, insight into the long-term impact of PFMT on health outcomes and health-service utilisation is scarce. Methods: This study utilised linkage of Scottish administrative health records to follow-up POPPY trial participants resident in Scotland over 11 years. Mixed effects logistic regression determined the likelihood of receiving further prolapse treatment for those in the PFMT and control groups. Analyses were adjusted for age group, prolapse stage, baseline symptom severity and attitude towards surgery. A cost assessment estimated longitudinal costs to the UK National Health Service (in Scotland) of accessing further prolapse treatment for each trial group. Results: Two hundred and ninety-three women, aged 25 to 79 years, were followed up. One hundred and forty-one women (48.1%) had received further prolapse treatment: 65 (of 149; 43.6%) in the PFMT group compared with 76 (of 144; 52.8%) in the control group. PFMT was associated with a reduction in the odds of any prolapse treatment during follow-up (AOR 0.61; 95% CI 0.37 to 0.99). Total cost of secondary care was £154,544 (GBP) in the PFMT group and £172,549 (GBP) in the control group. Conclusions: Although PFMT did not lead to significant differences in total costs for further prolapse treatment over a post-intervention period of more than 10 years, it reduced the overall long-term risk of requiring hospital-based treatment for pelvic floor disorders.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)239-246
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Urogynecology Journal
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2023


  • pelvic organ prolapse
  • record linkage
  • longitudinal cost analysis
  • pelvic floor muscle training
  • randomised controlled trial
  • long-term follow-up

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance(all)
  • General Health Professions
  • Urology
  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology


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