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Digital technology for women’s pelvic health – creative marketing or good science?

24 months
Approved budget:
Associate Professor Stephanie Woodley
Associate Professor Melanie Bussey
Associate Professor Alys Clark
Dr Jennifer Kruger
Health issue:
Renal and urogenital
Proposal type:
Health Delivery Research Activation Grant
Lay summary
Urinary incontinence significantly impacts on physical and mental health and is common with one-in-three women suffering at some stage during their lifetime. Pelvic floor muscle training is recommended as first-line treatment, but is often unsuccessful due to poor adherence and/or inability to access relevant health services. Digital technologies provide a rapidly growing market with hundreds of pelvic floor training apps now available, which are attractive to many women. However, little is known about how well these applications cater for women at various life stages, and if the solutions offered are evidence-based or appropriate from a cultural perspective. We aim to identify what technologies women are using for their pelvic floor health via a scoping literature review and to determine whether these are evidence-based and effective for managing incontinence. The findings will help inform future development of digital technologies, which meet specific cultural and population needs for New Zealand women.