Efficacy of electromagnetic therapy for urinary incontinence: A systematic review

Renly Lim, Shaun Wen Huey Lee, Ping Yee Tan, Men Long Liong, Kah Hay Yuen

    Research output: Contribution to journalShort ReviewOtherpeer-review

    15 Citations (Scopus)


    Aims To review whether patients with urinary incontinence (UI) treated with magnetic stimulation (MS) have a higher continence rate compared to sham. Methods Computerized search of electronic databases was performed using the keywords magnetic stimulation therapy and urinary incontinence. Inclusion criteria were randomized, blinded and sham-controlled. Results Eight studies involving 494 patients were included (285 patients received active MS and 209 patients received sham MS). Sample size ranged from 20 to 151 participants. Three studies were on stress UI, two studies on urgency UI, two studies on mixed UI and one study on overactive bladder. The primary outcome (cure) was not reported since only one study reported this outcome. Meta-analysis of the secondary outcome (improvement) showed patients who received active treatment were 2.3 times more likely to experience improved continence compared to sham treatment (95 confidence interval: 1.60-3.29; P <0.001), but was subject to bias due to varying inclusion criteria, poor reporting and variable time points. There were conflicting results in the treatment effect on quality of life (QOL). Twenty out of 494 patients (5 ) experienced mild side effects. The longest follow up period was six months. Conclusions There is no firm evidence to support the benefits of using MS in the management of UI, although short-term outcomes suggests that MS improves UI symptoms in women. The applicability of MS as a treatment option for UI remains uncertain until larger, high-quality trials with longer follow-up periods using comparable and relevant outcomes are conducted.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)713 - 722
    Number of pages10
    JournalNeurourology and Urodynamics
    Issue number8
    Publication statusPublished - 2015

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