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A study looking at treatment for urinary incontinence after prostate surgery (MAPS study)
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This study tried to find out if pelvic floor exercises could help urinary problems after surgery for prostate cancer.
Surgery is a common treatment for prostate problems including prostate cancer. One of the side effects of prostate surgery is leaking urine (urinary incontinence). For some men this is temporary, but for some it is permanent. It can greatly affect quality of life. And it can be expensive, both for the health service and for the patient.
This study looked at treatment for urinary incontinence after a radical prostatectomy or transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP). The research team thought that pelvic floor exercises may help to reduce incontinence and therefore improve quality of life and reduce costs.
In this study one group of men had ‘standard care’ for urinary incontinence after prostate surgery. For the other group, as well as having standard care, specially trained therapists taught the men how to do pelvic floor exercises.
The aim of the study was to see if pelvic floor exercises could improve bladder control and reduce, or even stop, urinary incontinence.
Summary of results
The trial team found that men were not likely to benefit from one to one teaching of pelvic floor exercises after prostate surgery.
There were 2 trials in this study. One was for men who had a radical prostatectomy. The other was for men who had a transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP). Both trials were
Of the 411 men who had a radical prostatectomy
- 206 had standard care for leaking urine (urinary incontinence)
- 205 were taught pelvic floor exercises by a therapist as well as having standard care
For the 442 men who had a TURP
- 222 had standard care for urinary incontinence
- 220 were taught pelvic floor exercises by a therapist as well as having standard care
After 1 year follow up, the trial team looked at how many men were still having a problem with urinary incontinence. For those who had a radical prostatectomy
- 77 out of every 100 men (77%) who had standard care did
- 76 out of every 100 men (76%) who were taught the pelvic floor exercises did
For those men who had a TURP
- 62 out of every 100 men (62%) who had standard care did
- 65 out of every 100 men (65%) who were taught the pelvic floor exercises did
In both trials, between the 2 groups there was no significant difference in the number of men who still had urinary incontinence. The cost of teaching the pelvic floor exercises was higher than the standard care, but without any benefit to the men’s quality of life.
The trial team concluded that one to one teaching of pelvic floor exercises was not likely to be of any benefit for men after having prostate surgery.
We have based this summary on information from the team who ran the trial. The information they sent us has been reviewed by independent specialists (
How to join a clinical trial
Professor Cathryn Glazener
Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre (ECMC)
National Institute for Health Research Cancer Research Network (NCRN)
University of Aberdeen