Ultrasound-based motor control training for the pelvic floor pre- and post-prostatectomy: Scoring reliability and skill acquisition

Stuart Doorbar-Baptist, Roger Adams, Trudy Rebbeck

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Aim: This study documents a protocol designed to evaluate pelvic floor motor control in men with prostate cancer. It also aims to evaluate the reliability of therapists in rating motor control of pelvic floor muscles (PFMs) using real time ultrasound imaging (RUSI) video clips. We further determine predictors of acquiring motor control. Methods: Ninety-one men diagnosed with prostate cancer attending a physiotherapy clinic for pelvic floor exercises were taught detailed pelvic floor motor control exercises by a physiotherapist using trans-abdominal RUSI for biofeedback. A new protocol to rate motor control skill acquisition was developed. Three independent physiotherapists assessed motor control skill attainment by viewing RUSI videos of the contractions. Inter-rater reliability was evaluated using intra-class correlation coefficients. Logistic regression analysis was conducted to identify predictors of successful skill attainment. Acquisition of the skill was compared between pre- and post-operative participants using an independent-group t-test. Results: There was good reliability for rating the RUSI video clips (ICC 0.73 (95%CI 0.59–0.82)) for experienced therapists. Having low BMI and being seen pre-operatively predicted motor skill attainment, accounting for 46.3% of the variance. Significantly more patients trained pre-operatively acquired the skill of pelvic floor control compared with patients initially seen post-operatively (OR 11.87, 95%CI 1.4 to 99.5, p = 0.02). Conclusions: A new protocol to evaluate attainment of pelvic floor control in men with prostate cancer can be assessed reliably from RUSI images, and is most effectively delivered pre-operatively.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)296-302
Number of pages7
JournalPhysiotherapy Theory and Practice
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes


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