0:28 Learning hours


Support & survivorship

Side-effects & management

Physiotherapy and continence problems

Speaker: Thamra Ayton, Clinical Team Lead Physiotherapist for Pelvic Health, Belfast Health and Social Care Trust


Prostate cancer is one of the most common cancers in men (26% of all male cancers). Two of the most common side effects of cancer treatment are erectile dysfunction and urinary incontinence.

This webinar will discuss a pilot project that has been designed to address the inequalities regarding supportive care for those with prostate cancer, specifically regarding continence.

The webinar will provide an opportunity to discuss the project, the learnings gained along the way, and the project's aim to continue to strengthen the evidence base to secure long term funding for physiotherapy posts to support men living with and beyond prostate cancer.

The project that will be discussed in the webinar provides pre-habilitation for patients attending for prostate surgery. Patients are assessed and screened for bladder/bowel issues, and following a digital rectal examination are provided with instruction on a bespoke pelvic floor muscle exercise programme to enhance the pelvic floor function, and hence post-operative recovery. Rehabilitation continues after surgery for those having residual problems.

Outcomes at 18 months have been very favourable from both patients and urology staff. Patients seen pre-op had improved ICIQ scores post-op, compared to those not seen suggesting that pre-habilitation can improve outcomes for this patient population. The ‘bothersome’ score, which asks men to rate the extent to which their symptoms affect their daily life, presents the best picture of outcomes for men. Again, it shows that all men improved with treatment, with those seen pre-operatively having the best scores.


Thamra graduated from the University of Ulster in 1993 with BSc (Hons) Physiotherapy. Thamra has over 20 years of experience, the last 10 of which have been working in the Belfast Trust as team lead. She completed the University of East London’s Postgraduate Certificate in Continence in 2004 and has a wide knowledge and skills set within bladder, bowel and sexual dysfunctions for both men and women.

Date due for revision: October 2018