Department of Physical Therapy Student Theses, Dissertations and Capstones

Document Type

Dissertation - NSU Access Only

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Physical Therapy

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College of Health Care Sciences - Physical Therapy Department

Publication Date / Copyright Date



Nova Southeastern University. College of Health Care Sciences.


Purpose: To investigate the incidence of urinary incontinence (UI) and relationship between UI and health related quality of life (HRQOL) of postpartum Bangladeshi women. Problem Statement: There are no studies comparing HRQOL with incidence and impact of UI amongst Bangladeshi women who have had cesarean section (CS) and those with normal vaginal delivery (NVD). Methods: Prospective, cross sectional, correlational design (n=94) of postpartum Bangladeshi women, ages 18-44, with history of one or more obstetrical deliveries within the last three years. Implemented at the Center for Rehabilitation of the Paralyzed (CRP) in Bangladesh. Subjects completed the Bengali version of the SF-36 and IIQ-7. Results: Six subjects were eliminated from the study because of co-morbidity exclusion factors. Eight subjects were excluded secondary to "mixed birth mode" (MBM). UI incidence was reported at 45% (n=39/86) total, 44% CS (n=18/41), and 47% (n=21/45) for NVD. IIQ-7 scores and UI presence showed strong correlations in both CS (rho=.729, 84, p<.001) and NVD (rho=.874, 84, p<.001). The highest impact of UI was reported in the CS group. One sample t-test reported significant differences for the sample when compared with the age equivalent norms for the SF-36 domain and component scores (p =.05-.001). Women in the 35-44 age group reported higher UI incidence and decreased HRQOL scores on the SF-36 and IIQ-7. Significant differences in HRQOL were reported for women with "pelvic/abdominal pain" and "UI" compared to those without "pain" or without "UI" and strong inverse correlations (rho=.597-.853) were reported for subjects with "pain" on the SF-36 domains (p=.001). The MBD group (n=8) reported UI incidence at 74% (n= 6/8), and pelvic/abdominal pain at 63% (n=5/8). Conclusion: No significant difference between birth modes was found in UI and HRQOL measures. A significant decrease in HRQOL for women during the postpartum period compared to age related norm scores was reported. Report of abdominal/pelvic pain and presence of UI were directly related to HRQOL in this study. Future research in this population should address pelvic and abdominal pain and "mixed birth mode" impact on QOL and UI in a larger sample using a longitudinal design.


Physical Therapy

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