Prevalence of urinary incontinence in high school and middle school-aged female athletes
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The purpose of this study was to determine the prevalence of urinary incontinence (UI) in middle school and high school female athletes in order to investigate the need for preventative education in the future. Additional topics of study were whether or not these athletes have ever received training in pelvic floor strengthening exercises and the impact of this issue on quality of life. Data was collected from 49 subjects via surveys including the ICIQ-FLUTS questionnaire and one created by investigators. Among 49 athletes, 27 young women (55.1%) reported urinary leakage. The mean age was 15.6 (± 1.3) years of the total participants and 15.6 (± 1.1) years for those that reported leakage. Of the 49 participants, Out of those reporting leakage (27), 17 (63.0 %) reported feeling embarrassed, 4 (14.8%) reported feeling afraid, and 5 (18.5%) reported feeling bad about themselves. Among the young athletes that reported UI, 55.6% reported no previous education on the performance of pelvic floor exercises (Kegels) in order to prevent the occurrence of UI. The results of this study indicate a prevalence of UI in middle school and high school female athletes, and that this has a negative effect on their quality of life causing them to feel embarrassed, afraid, and bad about themselves. Due to the young age of these athletes and the lack of education on pelvic floor exercises (i.e Kegels), a preventative education program should be developed in order to enhance the quality of life of this population.
Poster project completed at Wichita State University, Department of Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering. Presented at the 13th Annual Capitol Graduate Research Summit, Topeka, KS, February 2, 2016.