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Loyola study to determine whether yoga can help women with urinary incontinence

Researchers now enrolling women for yoga study

MAYWOOD, Ill. (April 9, 2014) – Loyola University Chicago Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing (MNSON) researchers are recruiting women for a study to determine whether practicing yoga will help reduce symptoms of urinary incontinence.

This trial also will evaluate associations among stress, inflammation and incontinence. Inflammation has been linked to urge urinary incontinence. Yoga has reduced inflammation associated with other health conditions, but it has yet to be tested in women with urge urinary incontinence.

“This study will help us determine whether yoga is a helpful way for women to self-manage their urinary incontinence symptoms and reduce the psychological burden of living with this condition,” said Sandi Tenfelde, PhD, RN, APN, lead investigator, certified yoga instructor and assistant professor and director of the Women's Health Nurse Practitioner (WHNP) Program, MNSON.

Researchers will recruit women between the ages of 20 and 70 with a history of urge urinary incontinence or a sudden need to urinate followed by leaking urine. These women must not be pregnant, have a history of autoimmune diseases or be taking immune-altering medications.

Women involved with the study will be randomized to either participate in twice-weekly yoga classes for eight weeks or one educational session. They also will complete written questionnaires and give a urine and blood sample two times during the study. Participants will receive up to $50 for their time and travel.

Urinary incontinence (UI) is the most common pelvic-floor disorder, affecting nearly half of all women in the United States. Although millions of women struggle with urinary incontinence, only 25 percent seek care. Traditional medications used to treat urge urinary incontinence have multiple side effects and may lose effectiveness over time.

“There is a critical need to evaluate alternative therapies to manage urge urinary incontinence symptoms,” Dr. Tenfelde said. “Yoga may offer substantial promise as a cost-effective, complementary approach to alleviate urinary incontinence symptoms and associated distress."

For more information, please contact Sandi Tenfelde, PhD, RN, APN, at (708) 216-9213.

The Loyola University Chicago Health Sciences Division (HSD) advances interprofessional, multidisciplinary, and transformative education and research while promoting service to others through stewardship of scientific knowledge and preparation of tomorrow's leaders. The HSD is located on the Health Sciences Campus in Maywood, Illinois. It includes the Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing, the Stritch School of Medicine, the biomedical research programs of the Graduate School, and several other institutes and centers encouraging new research and interprofessional education opportunities across all of Loyola University Chicago. The faculty and staff of the HSD bring a wealth of knowledge, experience, and a strong commitment to seeing that Loyola's health sciences continue to excel and exceed the standard for academic and research excellence. For more on the HSD, visit LUC.edu/hsd.

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Nora Plunkett
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