Enhancing behavioral treatment for women with pelvic floor disorders: Study protocol for a pilot randomized controlled trial

Bayley J. Taple*, James W. Griffith, Claire Weaver, Kimberly S. Kenton

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Approximately one in four American women report bothersome urinary symptoms (e.g., urgency, frequency), which greatly impact quality of life, including mental health. Bidirectional relationships have been found between urinary symptoms and anxiety, such that urinary symptoms worsen emotional distress (i.e., anxiety and depression), and in turn anxiety can exacerbate these symptoms. Current methods to treat urinary symptoms, such as physical therapy and medications, do not address their emotional impact. As such, our multidisciplinary team is conducting a randomized control trial (RCT) of cognitive-behavior therapy (CBT) using the Unified Protocol (UP) versus supportive therapy in the context of integrated behavioral treatment in the urogynecology context. Women with bothersome urinary symptoms and anxiety are recruited from the Northwestern Medicine Integrated Pelvic Health Program (IPHP) —a transdisciplinary clinic including urogynecologists, urologists, colorectal surgeons, nurses, and physical therapists— and Northwestern Medicine Urology. Participants are randomized to one of two interventions: UP or supportive therapy. All participants attend therapy once per week for 12 weeks. Assessments of urinary symptoms, anxiety, and other indicators of psychological and physical functioning are completed at baseline, mid-treatment, post-treatment, and at 3- and 6-month follow-ups using patient-reported outcomes. The study has been preregistered on clinicaltrails.gov (ID: NCT03623880) and is currently ongoing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number100514
JournalContemporary Clinical Trials Communications
StatePublished - Mar 2020


  • Anxiety
  • Cognitive-behavior therapy
  • Multidisciplinary care
  • Pelvic floor disorders
  • Supportive therapy
  • Urinary symptoms

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology


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