Pelvic Floor Health in Women with Parkinson's Disease

Ankita Gupta, Kathrin Lafaver, Kevin R. Duque, Anushree Lingaiah, Kate V. Meriwether, Jeremy Gaskins, Josephine Gomes, Alberto J. Espay, Abhimanyu Mahajan*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Background: Urinary dysfunction and constipation, manifestations of pelvic floor dysfunction are common sources of disability and impaired quality of life in women with Parkinson's disease (PD). Objective: We sought to evaluate the pelvic floor health amongst women with PD and their reporting of bladder and bowel symptoms. Methods: We surveyed women with PD and age-matched controls about pelvic floor health using validated questionnaires. All participants completed the Pelvic Floor Disability Index (PFDI-20), the Pelvic Floor Impact Questionnaire (PFIQ-7) and the Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System (PROMIS) short form version 2.0 Cognitive Function 8a. Additionally, PD patients underwent the Movement Disorders Society Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale (MDS-UPDRS) scale and the Montreal Cognition Assessment (MoCA). Results: Women with PD (n=59; age, 70.4±8.6 years, PROMIS cognitive score, 52.0±7.8) self-reported urinary symptoms to a greater extent than controls (n=59; age, 70.2±8.7 years, PROMIS cognitive score, 51.0±10) (68% vs 43%, p<0.01). The difference was mirrored by higher (worse) scores on both PFDI-20 (35.4 vs 15.6; p=0.01) and PFIQ-7 (4.8 vs 0; p<0.01) for PD women compared to controls. Only 63% of all participants with self-reported pelvic floor symptoms had previously reported these symptoms to a health care provider. There was no difference in utilization of specialty care between the two groups (30% vs 46%, p=0.2). Conclusion: Pelvic floor dysfunction, more common amongst women with PD, is underreported and undertreated. Our study identifies a key gap in care of women with PD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)857-864
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Parkinson's disease
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2021


  • Parkinson's disease
  • health care utilization
  • pelvic floor disease
  • prolapse
  • urinary dysfunction
  • urinary incontinence
  • women's health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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