Musculoskeletal disorders, research quality, and pelvic floor health in sports: exploring current evidence and new perspectives

Giagio, Silvia (2024) Musculoskeletal disorders, research quality, and pelvic floor health in sports: exploring current evidence and new perspectives, [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Salute, sicurezza e sistemi del verde, 36 Ciclo. DOI 10.48676/unibo/amsdottorato/11175.
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Background. Pelvic floor dysfunction (PFD) is an umbrella term that includes a myriad of conditions such as urinary (UI) and anal incontinence, pelvic organ prolapse, pelvic pain, and sexual dysfunction. Literature showed high prevalence rates of PFD among athletes, especially UI, with high-impact sports have been linked with an increased risk of developing symptoms. However, comprehensive research summarising PFD prevalence across sexes, exploring treatment options, and the absence of a standardised referral screening tool are notable gaps. Misinformation is also prevalent in the sports medicine field. Methods. This doctoral project comprises four studies addressing different aspects of pelvic health in athletes. The first two studies were scoping reviews of epidemiological PFD data in male and female athletes, as well as available interventions. Study 3 concerned the development of a new screening tool for PFD in female athletes, aiming to guide sports medicine clinicians in referring patients to PFD specialists through a worldwide Delphi consensus. Study 4 summarised all previous findings, integrating data into an infographic. Results and conclusions. In Study 1, the findings of 100 articles on PFD in both sexes have been collected, highlighting a higher prevalence of studies on female athletes evaluating UI across multiple sports. Other conditions remain rarely investigated. Study 2 found a diverse range of interventions for female PFD, with a notable emphasis on conservative approaches. Recommendations for clinical practice often relied on the transferability of results from the nonathlete population or expert opinions. In Study 3, 41 international experts took part in the consensus development of the Pelvic Floor Dysfunction-ScrEeNing Tool IN fEmale athLetes (PFD-SENTINEL). It incorporates a cluster of PFD symptoms, items (risk factors, clinical, and sports-related characteristics), and a clinical algorithm. Lastly, Study 4 included ten evidence-based information with a relative description concerning pelvic floor health in athletes.

Tipologia del documento
Tesi di dottorato
Giagio, Silvia
Dottorato di ricerca
Settore disciplinare
Settore concorsuale
Parole chiave
Pelvic floor, musculoskeletal disorders, physical therapy, sports medicine
Data di discussione
8 Aprile 2024

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