A comparison of overall function between postpartum women with and Without Diastasis Rectus Abdominis
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Davis, S.; Gerhard, M.; Morgan, B.; Rausch, A.; Schmidt, H. 2022. A comparison of overall function between postpartum women with and Without Diastasis Rectus Abdominis -- In Proceedings: 18th Annual Symposium on Graduate Research and Scholarly Projects. Wichita, KS: Wichita State University
INTRODUCTION: Diastasis rectus abdominis (DRA) is a separation of the bilateral sides of the rectus abdominis joined by the linea alba (LA) and is present in up to 83% of postpartum women. DRA's impact on overall function and pain is not well understood. PURPOSE: The purpose of this study is to compare the effect of DRA on the overall function of postpartum women with and without DRA. METHODS: This study used the Inventory of Functional Status After Childbirth (IFSAC) to measure functional levels in postpartum women. Postpartum women between the ages of 18 and 40 and had a vaginal delivery within 6-10 weeks were included. Exclusion criteria included currently being treated for DRA, cesarean section, high risk pregnancy, or connective tissue disease. Women received a telehealth visit and performed a self-assessment via the palpation method to determine diagnosis of DRA. RESULTS: Preliminary results include descriptive statistics with mean averages of age (27), weight (160 lbs), height (65.5"), number of vaginal deliveries (1.5 deliveries), number of weeks postpartum (6.32 weeks). After exclusions and attrition, preliminary results are based on 6 subjects. Fifty percent of participants demonstrated a two finger-width DRA. The three other levels of severity including the 2.5, 3, and 4 finger-width separation were each 16.7%. We were unable to statistically compare function between two groups due to all participants having a DRA. Overall functional ability scores of household (3.17) social/community (3.49), infant care (3.75), self-care (3.11) and work (2.88) demonstrate decline in function, with a score of 4 representing full function. CONCLUSION: We have begun to see evidence that functional status is declined in postpartum women with DRA and are encouraged to continue recruited to answer our hypothesis.
Presented to the 18th Annual Symposium on Graduate Research and Scholarly Projects (GRASP) held at the Rhatigan Student Center, Wichita State University, April 29, 2022
Research completed in the Department of Physical Therapy, College of Health Professions