Incontinence and pelvic floor disorders are health issues that affect millions of people worldwide. Each country has their national associations to aid incontinent patients in various ways. With so many associations worldwide it was time a global federation was created to unify all these associations in the best interest of incontinent patients.
That is why the WFIP was founded. WFIP stands for World Federation of Incontinent Patients and it was created with the intention of promoting worldwide the interests of patients suffering from incontinence and related pelvic floor disorders and patient associations.
The WFIP provides its individual member associations with the most comprehensive and up-to-date information, guidelines, and educational resources. It seeks global cooperation via lobbying and contact with official bodies and patient advocacy groups.
The World Federation for Incontinent Patients main calls to action are:
* Freedom of choice for all patients in access to treatment and rehabilitation
* Harmonisation of healthcare standards
* Improved social awareness and public health education
* Enhanced quality of life for people of all nations
Back in December during the WFIP annual meeting, new strategic priorities were discussed as well as new tactics to reach operational objectives, strengthen fund development and expand leadership and growth of the organisation.
Through publicity of its Patient Bill of Rights, WFIP hopes to improve access to safe, proven and advancing means of treating and managing bladder and bowel control problems. Also among its priorities are the establishment of global consumer guidelines for preventative and lifestyle measures and when to seek help for symptoms.
Doctors at Loyola University Health System in Chicago Illinois, USA are conducting a clinical trial using cognitive therapy to treat urge incontinence. This new method employs meditation-like techniques that range from deep-breathing to guided imagery exercises that train the brain to control the bladder.
The average age of the patients was 62 and consisted mainly of women. These patients were submitted to a series of cognitive therapy, twice a day for two weeks they had to listen to an audio recording with a series of relaxation and visualization exercises.
These women then had to register the number of incontinence episodes in a pre and post-therapy diary. Findings from the study revealed that cognitive therapy is an effective treatment for urge incontinence with the average number of bladder-leakage episodes decreasing from 38 to 12.
One of the study’s patients experienced a dramatic improvement in her symptoms, before entering the clinical trial; she saturated several incontinence pads a day. Nowadays, she is 98% free of leakage. The therapy has allowed her to successfully recognize the link between her brain and bladder to manage incontinence and remain virtually accident-free.
She tells us that she was embarrassed to leave the house because of her condition and that she had an extremely embarrassing public accident where she ruined the upholstery on her friend’s chair. The episode forced her to turn to physicians for alternative measures to treat her incontinence.
Incontinence and Bladder problems affect about 6 million people in the UK. Cognitive therapy may play a vital role in a comprehensive approach to treating this disorder. The mind-body connection has proven to be particularly valuable for these women, because they are motivated to make a change to regain control over their bodies. In addition to using cognitive therapy to treat urge incontinence, other types of incontinence can be managed with physical therapy, lifestyle changes, medication and surgery.