Randomised controlled trials (RCTs), non-RCTs, cohort studies and case series of physiotherapy alone or in combination with other medical or psychological therapies in adult (over 19 years) women with chronic pelvic pain (using diagnostic criteria) were eligible for inclusion. Outcome measurements included validated pain scores (the primary outcome), quality of life and validated physical activity measurements.
The included studies considered a wide range of different physiotherapeutic interventions with various treatment frequencies and durations, often in combination with psychotherapeutic interventions. Control groups included surgery, placebo and standard gynaecological treatment. Studies were conducted in Scandinavia, the Netherlands, Brazil and USA and were published between 1991 and 2010. Mean ages of participants ranged from 30.5 to 43 years. Mean duration of pain ranged from 2.8 to 6.3 years.
Two reviewers independently performed study selection. Disagreements were resolved by discussion or consultation with a third reviewer.