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Electroacupuncture percutaneous tibial nerve stimulation for the treatment of refractory overactive bladder and urge faecal incontinence: a cost-effective option?


Overactive bladder (OAB) and faecal incontinence (FI) affect millions of people
worldwide, and have profound economic and social implications. Physiotherapy,
including assessment and treatment of pelvic floor muscle (PFM) function, bladder
training, and behavioural techniques, is the first-line
treatment for women with
OAB. Physiotherapy, including anal sphincter and PFM exercises, and behavioural
techniques, is a specialized form of management for individuals with faecal incontinence.
Despite physiotherapy intervention, some adults experience refractory
(persistent) symptoms. Research suggests that percutaneous tibial nerve stimulation
(PTNS) is an effective second-line
treatment option for OAB and urge FI (UFI).
Current research also indicates that electroacupuncture (EA) is an alternative, and
studies have found no significant difference between PTNS and sham electrical
stimulation. Percutaneous tibial nerve stimulation is more expensive than EA. This
review focuses on a local service’s development of an alternative, cost-effective
treatment option to standard PTNS for the management of refractory OAB and
UFI using EA.
Keywords: electroacupuncture, faecal incontinence, overactive bladder, percutaneous tibial
nerve stimulation.

Journal Details

Journal Title: POGP Journal 121 - Autumn 2017

Issue Date: 01 December 2017

Issue: 121