Educating Women About Pelvic Floor Disorders During Pregnancy From the First to the "Fourth Trimester": A Randomized Clinical Trial

Emily Rutledge, Alaina Spiers, Jennifer Vardeman, Nickie Griffin, Tariq Nisar, Tristi Muir, Danielle D. Antosh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


IMPORTANCE: Pregnancy and childbirth are risk factors for developing pelvic floor disorders (PFDs), and this continues postpartum ("fourth trimester"). Knowledge of PFDs among women of childbearing age is lacking and presents an opportunity for education.

OBJECTIVES: The aim of this study was to compare the increase in knowledge of PFDs in patients who received written handouts versus interactive workshops as measured by the Prolapse and Incontinence Knowledge Questionnaire (PIKQ).

STUDY DESIGN: This was a randomized clinical trial of pregnant patients 18 years or older. Patients either received written handouts only or received handouts and attended an interactive workshop. Handouts were created in collaboration with communication specialists focusing on risk factors and prevention strategies. The primary outcome was the change in PIKQ score. Secondary outcomes were Pelvic Floor Distress Inventory score and postpartum phone interviews of workshop group participants. Questionnaires were assessed at recruitment and 6 weeks postpartum. The nonparametric Wilcoxon test compared continuous variables, and the Fisher exact test compared categorical variables.

RESULTS: One hundred twenty patients were randomized. Demographics were similar between groups. Median PIKQ score change showed no difference between groups (P = 0.37). Pelvic Floor Distress Inventory-20 scores were similar between groups at baseline (P = 0.78) and postpartum (P = 0.82). Quantile regression showed posteducation PIKQ scores were significantly higher in the workshop (21.00 vs 17.00; P = 0.011) and written (21.00 vs 17.00; P < 0.001) groups. Phone interviews showed consistent themes: (1) greater awareness of PFDs, (2) more likely to discuss PFDs, and (3) relief that PFDs are treatable. Fifty-nine percent of patients preferred learning through workshops compared with the handouts.

CONCLUSIONS: Both groups showed improvement in knowledge of PFDs. Well-written, illustrated handouts were effective in increasing patient knowledge of PFDs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)770-776
Number of pages7
JournalUrogynecology (Philadelphia, Pa.)
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2023


  • Pregnancy
  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Female
  • Pelvic Floor Disorders/epidemiology
  • Educational Status
  • Learning
  • Parturition
  • Postpartum Period
  • Mustelidae

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Surgery


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