CLINICAL PAPER Pelvic floor muscle training services across the UK: a benchmarking survey of POGP members
This study describes pelvic floor muscle training (PFMT) services in the UK. An online survey was sent to all 700 members of Pelvic, Obstetric, and Gynaecological Physiotherapy (POGP) during 2018, and 162 (23%) completed the questionnaire. The respondents reported a mean of 610 referrals a year per service [749 for those working in the National Health Service (NHS)], with each physiotherapist seeing a mean of 260 patients a year. The mean waiting time for NHS treatment was 8 weeks, and 90% of services saw patients before the recommended maximum waiting time of 18 weeks. The form of PFMT offered varied across services: 95% and 70% offered physical examinations at intake and follow-up, respectively; and 90% of services delivered PFMT through individual sessions (mean number of sessions = 4), with 35% offering additional group sessions (mean number of sessions = 4). The mean overall did-not-attend (DNA) rate (including NHS and private patients) was 12%, and the mean treatment non-completion rate was 20%. These rates were 15% and 27%, respectively, for NHS patients, meaning that only around 60% completed their treatment. Total attrition rates (DNA and noncompletions) increased as time spent waiting for an initial appointment increased, but were reduced by 15% within the 50% of services that had access to psychological support of some kind (although very few services had their own psychologist). This latter finding suggests that this patient cohort has a different makeup and needs to those attending musculoskeletal services, and attention should be paid to this disparity when considering DNA and completion rates associated with women’s health physiotherapy.
Keywords: did-not-attend rates and compliance, pelvic floor muscle training, psychological and counselling support, referrals, waiting list time.