Urinary incontinence in the elderly. Bladder-sphincter biofeedback and toileting skills training.

K. L. Burgio, W. E. Whitehead, B. T. Engel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Behavioral treatment of urinary incontinence was given to 39 elderly outpatients; 19 had stress incontinence, 12 detrusor motor instability, and 8 urge incontinence without instability. Biofeedback involving the bladder and sphincter was used to teach selective control of sphincter muscles or voluntary inhibition of detrusor contractions. Traditional behavioral methods used included habit training to gradually increase the voiding interval and relaxation training to cope with the urge to void. After an average 3.5 training sessions, patients with stress incontinence reduced the frequency of incontinent episodes an average of 82% (range, 55% to 100%). Patients with detrusor motor instability showed an average 85% improvement (range, 39% to 100%), and patients with urge incontinence reduced incontinence an average of 94% (range, 83% to 100%). Furthermore, 13 of the patients achieved total continence, and 19 had fewer than one accident per week after treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)507-515
Number of pages9
JournalAnnals of internal medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1 1985

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine


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