We have developed an Internet-based treatment programme as well as an 8-page booklet. The effectiveness of the programmes was assessed in a study in which 250 women with urinary leakage at least once a week were assigned to Internet- or booklet-based treatments. The participants in both programmes experienced highly significant and clinically relevant improvements, comparable with the effect seen in individual or group treatments with a therapist. After four months there were no differences between the groups with regard to symptoms and quality of life but the women in the Internet group reported better subjective effects and reduced use of protection, and were more pleased with the programme. After 2 years 65% of the women in the Internet group and 58 % of the women in the booklet group were still pleased with the results of the treatment.
An interview-based study revealed that treatment via the Internet seemed to reduce the barrier to seeking medical help; the participants felt acknowledged and validated and appreciated the fact that they were able to control their own treatment. The participants resided in sparsely populated areas, urban areas and metropolitan areas, as is the Swedish population as a whole, but with higher educational levels.
A health economic analysis showed that the Internet programme was cost effective when compared with either the booklet-based treatment or “no treatment”.
The Internet study is registered and recorded at Clinical Trials www.clinicaltrial.gov (ID: NCT01032265)