Relationships between perioperative physical activity and urinary incontinence after radical prostatectomy: an observational study

Sean F. Mungovan, Bregtje P. Huijbers, Andrew D. Hirschhorn*, Manish I. Patel

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    13 Citations (Scopus)


    Background: Higher physical activity levels are continence-protective in non- prostate cancer populations. Primary aims of this study were to investigate changes in physical activity levels over the perioperative period in patients having radical prostatectomy, and relationships between perioperative physical activity levels and post-prostatectomy urinary incontinence.

    Methods: A prospective analysis of patients having radical prostatectomy and receiving perioperative physiotherapy including pelvic floor muscle training and physical activity prescription (n = 33). Physical activity levels were measured using the International Physical Activity Questionnaire and/or the SenseWear Pro3 Armband at four timepoints: before preoperative physiotherapy, the week before surgery, and 3 and 6 weeks postoperatively. Urinary incontinence was measured at 3 and 6 weeks postoperatively using a 24-hour pad test and the International Consultation on Incontinence Questionnaire - Urinary Incontinence Short Form (ICIQ).

    Results: Physical activity levels changed significantly over the perioperative period (p <0.001). At 6 weeks postoperatively, physical activity levels did not differ significantly from baseline (p = 0.181), but remained significantly lower than the week before surgery (p = 0.002). There was no significant interaction effect between preoperative physical activity category and time on the 24-hour pad test (p = 0.726) or ICIQ (p = 0.608). Nor were there any significant correlations between physical activity levels and the 24-hour pad test and ICIQ at 3 or 6 weeks postoperatively.

    Conclusions: This study provides novel data on perioperative physical activity levels for patients having radical prostatectomy. There was no relationship between perioperative physical activity levels and post-prostatectomy urinary incontinence, although participants had high overall preoperative physical activity levels and low overall urinary incontinence.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number67
    Number of pages9
    Publication statusPublished - 1-Dec-2013


    • Prostatectomy
    • Urinary incontinence
    • Exercise
    • Pelvic floor muscle training
    • IMPACT

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