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Chronic Prostatitis and/or Chronic Pelvic Pain as a Psychoneuromuscular Disorder—A Meta-analysis

      Abstract

      Objective

      To evaluate effectiveness of physical therapy, biofeedback, and/or cognitive behavioral therapy for chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome (CP and/or CPPS). This symptom complex has resisted resolution from conventional urologic treatment of the prostate, which includes antibiotics, alpha-blockers, and analgesics. Beginning in 1995, a new paradigm was introduced viewing CP and/or CPPS as a psychoneuromuscular disorder driven by protective pelvic floor guarding and psychosocial stress.

      Methods

      A literature search (PubMed, Google Scholar, and the Cochran Library) was conducted from inception through December 2017 using key words related to CP and/or CPPS (eg, prostatitis and pelvic pain) with physical therapy (eg, myofascial trigger point release) and/or biofeedback or cognitive behavioral treatment. Studies were required to include pre- and post-treatment with the National Institutes of Health Chronic Prostatitis Symptom Index (CPSI) scores.

      Results

      Eight studies inclusive of 280 patients met primary inclusion criteria. Study sample sizes ranged from 8 to 116 men (mean = 35); treatment duration ranged from 8 to 26 weeks (mean = 14). Pretreatment mean CPSI scores ranged from 21.7 to 33.5. The nonstandardized weighted mean reduction of CPSI score from baseline was 8.8 points; 95% confidence interval (7.5, 11.1); P <.001. The I2 statistic = 18.5% indicating little heterogeneity between studies. A sensitivity analysis including an additional multimodal intervention study of with 100 patients produced similar findings.

      Conclusion

      Conventional medical treatment often fails to resolve CP and/or CPPS. A 6-point reduction in CPSI score is considered a clinically meaningful improvement of symptoms. This meta-analysis shows that treating CP and/or CPPS as a psychoneuromuscular disorder can significantly exceed this clinical threshold.
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