A study about services for delivering pelvic floor muscle training for women with prolapse


Pelvic Organ Prolapse (POP) is estimated to affect 41%-50% of women aged over 40. The Pelvic Organ Prolapse Physiotherapy (POPPY) trial was a multi-centre randomised controlled trial of the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of individualised pelvic floor muscle training (PFMT) compared to a lifestyle advice leaflet in newly-diagnosed women with stages I- III pelvic organ prolapsed (POP). Individualised PFMT was effective in reducing symptoms of prolapse, provided improvements in quality of life and showed clear potential to be cost-effective.

Despite this evidence, provision of PFMT for POP continues to vary across the UK, possibly because of the limited numbers of physiotherapists in some areas with specialist training in pelvic floor dysfunction/women’s health. Implementation of the robust evidence from the POPPY trial will be of benefit to large numbers of women, but needs attention to different models of delivery to fit with differing care environments. Research is required to support the implementation of PFMT as a first line treatment for POP.

This project aims to study implementation and outcomes of different models of delivery, using different staff skill mixes such as Grade 5 Physiotherapists and continence/women’s health nurses to increase service provision of PFMT across contrasting NHS sites. Greater Glasgow & Clyde, Highlands and Leicestershre.

How can I get involved? 

At different stages in the trial, we will be recruiting both physiotherapists, other nurses and others involved in managing or treating prolapse to take part in focus groups and eventually to deliver the PFMT intervention. 

We are also looking for women with experience of pelvic floor issues to:

  • take part in one of our regular Advisory panels
  • take part in focus groups in each of the study areas
  • take part in the intervention stage of the trial.

You can see who we are recruiting in our News and Updates page.

Funding & Partners

This project is funded by the National Institute for Health Research Health Services and Delivery Programme (Project No.14/04/02). 

The research is being carried out by a group of experienced researchers and clinicians from a number of different organisations:  The Chief Scientist Office funded Nursing, Midwifery and Allied Health Professions Research Unit, University of Stirling and Glasgow Caledonian University; The Chief Scientist Office Funded Health Services Research Unit, University of Aberdeen; Leicester University Hospitals Trust; NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde; NHS Highland.



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