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  • Writer's pictureArwen Rasmussen

Researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Seek Volunteers for Improving Bladder and Bowel Health

A study conducted by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) found that more than 60% of women experience incontinence (bladder and/or bowel leakage), showing these are common conditions in older women, but they don’t have to be! According to Dr. Heidi Brown at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, “It is possible to prevent or improve these problems, without medicine or surgery, but most women don’t know that there are good solutions available. I take care of women in my clinic who have suffered for years before they end up getting help.” 

Dr. Brown is conducting a research study that is focused on how to best support women to prevent or improve bladder and/or bowel leakage. The goal of this study is to see how women use an online program that offers simple exercises, and tips on eating and drinking intended to prevent or improve the symptoms of bladder/bowel leakage. Examples of information on the website include exercise suggestions (such as pelvic floor muscle exercises, also known as Kegels), how much and when to drink during the day, and how much fiber we should be eating every day. Women in the study will be asked to share a bit about their experience with incontinence and using the online program by responding to survey questions and one optional interview with the research study staff. The study activities (online program and surveys) are all in English and take place over a 6-month period.

Who can join the study? 

Women who are:

• At least 50 years old

• Have access to email

• Have an Internet-connected device (like a computer, tablet, or smart-phone) 

• Able to read and write English because this study is conducted in English

What does being in the study involve?

Women in this 6-month study will be asked to:

• Use a free online continence promotion program (on a computer, tablet, or smart-phone) 

• Complete 4 email surveys -- about 15 minutes each, spread over 6 months

• Complete 1 optional phone or video interview -- about 30 minutes

Are women paid to participate in this study?

Yes, participants will receive up to $125 for their time and participation 

Want to learn more or join the study? 

If you have questions, you can also contact the lead researchers, Megan Piper, by phone (608-265-5472) or Heidi Brown, by email ( 

Email is generally not a secure way to communicate sensitive or health related information as there are many ways for unauthorized users to access email. You should avoid sending sensitive, detailed personal information by email. Email should also not be used to convey information of an urgent nature. If you need to talk to someone immediately or would prefer not to receive study communication by email, please contact Dr. Megan Piper, Lead Researcher at 608-265-5472.

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