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A qualitative study: the influence of occupational therapy for pelvic floor dysfunction on functioning, disability, and health




Pearce, Delaney M., author
Schmid, Arlene A., advisor
Atler, Karen E., committee member
Fruhauf, Christine A., committee member

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Introduction: Approximately one quarter of all women in the United States experience symptoms of pelvic floor dysfunction (PFD). Occupational therapy (OT) for PFD is a relatively new area of expertise within the field, resulting in limited research on its efficacy. Objectives: Explore the ways in which OT for PFD influences health using the International Classification of Functioning, Disability, and Health (ICF) as a guide. Method: Four participants completed the study. Eligibility criteria included: >18 years old, biologically female, English speaking, self-reported pelvic floor issue, completed OT intervention for PFD within the last two years. Electronic medical records and Pelvic Floor Distress Inventory Questionnaire-10 (PFDI-20) scores prior to and after completing OT intervention for PFD were reviewed, and semi-structured interviews were conducted. Results: Four themes emerged: 1) improved mental health and physiological function, 2) promotion of the mind-body connection, 3) reintroduction of meaning, and 4) relationships with healthcare professionals and sociocultural influences. Each theme is tied to a component of the ICF. Conclusion: OT for PFD has a positive impact on health per the ICF. This may result in better function and participation in everyday life. More research is needed to investigate the generalizability of these findings.


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pelvic floor


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