Category: Technology (e.g. robotics, assistive technology, mHealth); Complementary Integrative Rehabilitation Medicine
Objective(s) : To appraise the current use of mobile technologies for the conservative self-management of urinary incontinence (UI), explore whether they integrate recommended features for the use of mobile technologies in healthcare and optimal parameters for UI treatment.
Data Sources : We conducted a literature search on Medline, Embase, CINAHL, REHABDATA, Cochrane Library and PEDro databases until July 2018.
Study Selection : Selection criteria were 1)people with UI, 2)included mobile technology for self-management of UI, and 3)published as a journal article after 1999. Screening, review and data extraction processes were independently performed by two reviewers.
Data Extraction : Data on study design, type and valuable features of mobile technologies in healthcare and outcomes related to UI were collected.
Data Synthesis : Twelve articles (7 original studies; level of evidence II-V), were retained. Technologies used were a mobile app alone (n=2), a Pelvic Floor Muscle Training (PFMT) device and app (n=2), a PFMT device and telerehabilitation (n=1), a smartphone messaging system (n=1), and an internet-based program (n=1). All PFMT programs prescribed a daily frequency of at least 8-week duration. Out of 6 valuable features, 1 to 4 were reported: all studies (7/7) reported data extraction features, but 0/7 social media features. Post-intervention, at least one outcome on UI was improved in almost all (6/7) studies. Satisfaction with both technology and outcomes was achieved in 3/3 studies, and adherence was high (daily usage of technology) in 4/5 studies.
Conclusions : There are benefits of using mobile technologies to improve UI, satisfaction, and adherence. Technologies reviewed follow recognized training parameters for PFMT for UI treatment, but users could benefit from technologies with more built-in features to optimize outcomes. Further research is needed to confirm these results.