This year’s Annual Scientific Meeting was the first on-site meeting since the COVID-19 pandemic hit the world in March 2020. But as we continue with travel restrictions globally, the ICS adapted to a new hybrid format allowing Physiotherapy researchers from all over the world to present their work. The atmosphere on-site was fantastic, and it was good to see so many colleagues face to face!
The 21st Physiotherapy Forum consisted of outstanding lectures by world-renowned leading experts such as Kari Bø, Paul Hodges, Chantale Dumolin and Daniëlle van Reijn and newcomers to the ICS such as Rebecca Reisch, Rachel Worman, Gráinne Donnelly and Marty Klein. They covered a broad range of topics such as mindfulness in the management of OAB, measurement of puborectalis muscle stiffness in healthy men, physiotherapy management of chronic anal fissure, return to run in the postpartum period, evidence and clinical PFMT for POP, ICI update on the conservative management of UI, research updates on the male pelvic floor and psycho-sexual aspects of men’s health. In addition to the 58 participants who attended in person, we also had 65 virtual participants logging on to our virtual platform. There was plenty of interaction and inspiring discussions with a lot of lively informal chats about Physiotherapy.
The Physiotherapy Committee were sad to say goodbye to Nelly Farghani and Heather Moky and we want to thank them for their work on the committee for the last several years. We also welcomed our new Physiotherapy Chair, Paula Igualada-Martinez.
At present the ICS has a total of 427 physiotherapy members, making it the second largest group of clinicians behind the Urologists. This achievement is partly due to the high calibre of Physiotherapy-Led research presented each year, and this annual meeting did not disappoint us!
We have handpicked three of our favourite studies but do go and explore the scientific sessions and the workshops as the topics presented this year were very diverse.
Exploring gynaecologic cancer survivorship needs, barriers and facilitators to virtual pelvic health physiotherapy interventions: Phase 1 results of a patient-oriented multi-methods study.
Bernard S, Tandon P, Waters A, Selmani S, Wiebe E, Turner J, Dufour S, Duclos S, McNeely M
Best in Category Prize: Quality of Life / Patient and Caregiver Experiences
Preliminary results from this study highlighted that the English-speaking respondents reported little knowledge related to pelvic health interventions, recognized several barriers to accessing pelvic health care, including their lack of knowledge on what pelvic health is, and identified several facilitators from virtual delivery of pelvic health physiotherapy interventions. Reducing costs and travel were key facilitators identified by the respondents, as well as decreasing the time and travel burden for gynaecologic cancer patients continuing active treatment.
By identifying the needs and preferences of individuals treated for gynaecologic cancer, the results from this work will provide a greater understanding of how best to delivery virtual pelvic health physiotherapy interventions as part of survivorship care. Findings have the potential to address a gap in access to pelvic health physiotherapy interventions and improve the health of survivors with gynaecologic cancer.
A pressure sensor array can be used to show maximal pelvic floor muscle contraction in different postures.
Pedofsky L, Nielsen P, Budgett D, Kruger J
Best in Category Prize: Continence Care Products / Devices / Technologies
This study shows there is intra-participant sensor variation when detecting peak PFM pressure across a posture change, and inter-participant variability when comparing PFM contractions in similar and different postures. Overall, a pressure sensor array enables users to identify peak PFM pressures and this information can help to determine effective PFM contraction. Women (and clinicians) need to be aware of the shortcomings of single sensor and perineometer-like devices for PFM contraction assessment.
Teaching effective pelvic floor muscle exercises in antenatal care: design and development of a training package for community midwives in the United Kingdom.
Dean S, Salmon V, Terry R, Hay-Smith J, Frawley H, Chapman S, Pearson M, Boddy K, Cockcroft E, Webb S, Bick D, MacArthur C
Best in Category Prize: Health Services Delivery
This study aimed to develop a comprehensive training package for midwives and resources for pregnant women to support teaching of PFME within the antenatal care pathway to be evaluated in a feasibility and pilot randomised controlled trial (RCT). The study found out that midwives and women believed that implementing PFME in the antenatal care pathway would be beneficial for large numbers of women. This study aimed to ensure that whatever was asked of women and midwives for implementing PFME was evidence based, with sound theoretical underpinnings and consensus acceptance from experts and lay members of the public. The Behaviour Change Wheel (BCW) and the Capability-Opportunity-Motivation and Behavioural Skill (COM-B) helped us to identify how these could be brought together into a training package for midwives and resources for supporting women to address these needs. After extensive iterative refinements of the training package and resources the success of this approach to development is now being tested in the feasibility and pilot RCT.
On behalf of the Physiotherapy committee, we would like to thank all the Physiotherapists that attended and/or contributed to the meeting and look forward to seeing you in Toronto next year.
References: Best abstracts from the ICS 2022 meeting in Vienna.